10 Years of Delivering HIV Free Babies

1 October 2010, 06:14 | Updated: 1 October 2010, 10:08

A maternity unit in one of our hospitals that specialises in delivering babies to mums with HIV say every single baby born there has been free of the virus.

The maternity team at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital delivers around 5,500 births and sees up to 30 cases of mums with the virus from Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire every year and within the past 10 years around 250 babes born there have been saved for a lifetime of illness, complex medication and shortened lives caused by HIV/AIDS.

L&D specialist midwife Sue O’Driscoll has run the HIV maternity service since it started with the support of consultant obstetrician Malcolm Griffiths.

Sue told Heart:

“If a pregnancy is managed properly, with education and support, an HIV positive woman can have a baby who is free of HIV. Our service offers advice not just to pregnant women, but to the whole families to achieve the best and most healthy outcome.

“It is vitally important that women are screened for HIV – which is offered as standard procedure at this hospital in early pregnancy to protect the health of the unborn child in mother.”

The hospital say around 20-30 cases are detected each year there, and as HIV levels in the UK rise, the importance of screening and the specialist maternity service to HIV is clear.