‘Tired of diagnosing in women faithful to their husband’

hvi doctor
Physician alerts for protection even in fixed relationships (Reprodução/@clorexiduda + Archive/ Agência Brasil)

The infectious disease physician Eduarda Prestes, from the city of Santarém, Pará, published a recent outburst on social networks where she warns about HIV contamination in married women who are faithful to their husbands. The doctor’s speech reverberated on social networks (Look on here) and brought a warning about protection during sex, even when there is already a steady relationship with a single partner.

In an interview with UOL, the doctor says that she works in the city’s Treatment and Reception Center and serves women diagnosed with HIV on a daily basis. “On the day of this outburst on social networks, I saw a pregnant woman, I believe she was seven or eight weeks pregnant. It was her first child and she was accompanied by her mother, a woman in her late 70s. I saw this woman very distressed at the clinic”, she says.

“Since it was her first appointment, we always sought to provide the most support. We ask her how she is, how she thinks she got the virus, who she’s going to tell and so on. During the conversation, I found out that she was a teacher, in her 30s, married for five years and that she never had an extramarital relationship. It was a very open patient.”

According to the doctor, the patient in question discovered the disease that day. The pregnant woman had gone to the health center to start prenatal exams and, when passing the rapid positive test, HIV was found. “We repeated the exam and confirmed it. She hadn’t even come home to talk to her husband.”

Also according to the interview, the doctor says that it is common to assist women who have been with a single partner for a long time who have extramarital relations without condom protection. For Eduarda, it is essential that men are, at least, honest with their partners.

“It’s controversial, painful and bad to say this, but I tell my female patients not to trust anyone. Take care, be on the safe side, take rapid tests for HIV, viral hepatitis and syphilis at least every six months. Prioritize yourselves. We are together in this fight.”

Furthermore, one of the factors that can even lead to a woman’s death is the time it takes for the disease to be discovered. The doctor says that she has already lost young patients because of the delay in getting them, as the virus does not manifest itself with symptoms initially.

“There are patterns of discovery of the infection. The one of those who discover when their husband is already very sick, in the stage of AIDS, and who often dies. And those who test positive in the prenatal period of pregnancy. Few find out through routine exams, which sets off the alarm for how we are doing as health professionals in Primary Care or in Gynecology offices, for these women”, she explains.

HIV

The Ministry of Health clarifies that HIV is the English acronym for the human immunodeficiency virus. It causes AIDS, attacks the immune system, responsible for defending the body from disease. Having HIV is not the same thing as having AIDS.

There are many HIV positive people who live for years without showing symptoms and without developing the disease. But they can transmit the virus to other people through unprotected sex, sharing contaminated needles or from mother to child during pregnancy and breastfeeding, when they do not take the necessary preventive measures. That’s why it’s always important to get tested and protect yourself in all situations.

The Health folder informs the ways of transmission of the disease:

  • Vaginal sex without a condom;
  • Anal sex without a condom;
  • Oral sex without a condom;
  • Use of syringe by more than one person;
  • Contaminated blood transfusion;
  • From the infected mother to her child during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding;
  • Instruments that pierce or cut not sterilized.

See ways to not get the virus:

  • Sex as long as the condom is used correctly;
  • Masturbation for two;
  • Kiss on the face or mouth;
  • Sweat and tear;
  • Bug bite;
  • Handshake or hug;
  • Soap/towel/sheets;
  • cutlery/glasses;
  • Bus seat;
  • Pool;
  • WC;
  • Blood donation;
  • Through the air.

With Ministry of Health

Edition: Victor Fernandes
Jordan Andrade
Jordan [email protected]

Reporter at BHAZ since October 2020. Journalist graduated at UniBH (University Center of Belo Horizonte) with experience in Sou BH, Alvorada FM and Itatiaia radio vehicles. He works on projects focused on politics, diversity and community journalism.