case study 810

Patience is 29 years old and has been HIV positive for nine years. She has remained asymptomatic and is not taking antiretroviral medication. Recently she was at the drop-in clinic to talk to a public health nurse about having a baby through artificial insemination. She said she had met a man who wanted to marry her and have children with her, but she was concerned about the baby contracting HIV. Her latest blood tests indicated her CD4+ count was 380/µL. The PCR test indicated her viral load was 850. The nurse referred her to the physician to discuss antiretroviral therapy during her pregnancy.

  1. What are the factors that increase the chance of HIV transmission from mother to infant, and how the transmission occurs?
  2. Patience was told that after she became pregnant, she would begin HAART therapy. Describe what this therapy is and what particular antiretroviral medication would be particularly useful to her during her pregnancy. What concern is there about administering certain antiretrovirals early in the pregnancy?
  3. Individuals with HIV are prone to contracting opportunistic infections. What are opportunistic infections and the risk factors that leave an individual with HIV particularly prone to contracting this type of illness?

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