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High temperatures not healthy for pregnant HIV positive women - Wits prof

Matthew Chersich believes the effects of extreme weather could undermine antiretroviral treatment for pregnant women in particular.

Picture: Pixabay.com

JOHANNESBURG - There are fears that the global increase in temperatures could intensify the impact of HIV and possibly jeopardise the progress made in treatment.

Matthew Chersich, a professor at Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, said so over the weekend.

He believes the effects of extreme weather could undermine antiretroviral treatment for pregnant women in particular.

“…And during hot weather, pregnant women are really vulnerable to adverse pregnancy outcomes especially breastfeeding infections which is much more common to women in this weather and I can confirm that many of the HIV infections in children are acquired in breastfeeding.”

Chersich said extreme weather events, such as floods and wildfires, could undermine already fragile drug supply systems in SA.

“I think there needs to be much more attention to women in climate change. Health workers need to be tuned to this and begin to make labour wards cooler.

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