Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico - The SETAC Community Center and the Puerto Vallarta CAPASIT clinic encourage the community to join their 'Give Milk, Give Life' campaign, which is focused on helping HIV positive mothers feed their young children without the risk of infecting them with the virus.
The Milk Program is just part of SETAC's campaign to support the health of women living with HIV and their babies, which includes detecting the virus in a timely manner through free HIV and syphilis testing, and, if an infection is present, orchestrating treatment through public and private health service providers.
Give Milk, Give Life
In Puerto Vallarta, there are currently 15 babies who are at risk of getting the Aids virus through their mother's milk. Women living with HIV who have just given birth are supported by Seguro Popular or Seguro Social, who provide them with formula during the breast feeding stage, or the first six months of the babies' lives.
What happens after the first 6 months?
This is where SETAC comes into the picture. The formula is prohibitively expensive for these families, and with growing babies, there's always a need for more, so SETAC starts providing the formula in the seventh month until the child reaches three years of age.
"An increasing number of young mothers have tested positive and therefore can not breast feed their babies because breast milk transmits HIV," says SETAC Director Paco Arjona. "That is why there is a need to provide these babies with high quality powdered milk, which is very expensive for their mothers."
How You Can Help
From November 16-30, 2015, the SETAC Community Center will be collecting cans of powdered milk to nourish these children. The preferred brands are Nido Kinder, Nan 2 and Nan 3, however, you can donate any brand of milk powder, provided it meets the required nutritional values that a growing child needs in order to grow strong and healthy.
In addition, there are some newborns that require special formulas like Enfamil, Frisolac and other special dietary supplements ordered by the attending physician at the time of the child's birth, so cash donations are also needed to ensure that these babies have everything they need to grow up to be healthy and happy children.
"We think the Give Milk, Give Life program is a great cause," Arjona stated. "I think it will benefit our community by raising awareness. It's important for people to understand the AIDS crisis continues, and that it also affects women and children right here in Puerto Vallarta. Our goal is to make Puerto Vallarta the first city in Mexico to eradicate the vertical transmission of the HIV virus."
The purpose of the SETAC Community Center, located at Constitucion #427 and the corner of Manuel Dieguez on the South side of Puerto Vallarta, is to provide essential services to the community, including physical and mental health treatment, referrals, and education in an atmosphere of safety, free from discrimination. For more information, contact Paco Arjona at (322) 224-1974 or paco(at)setac.com.mx.
Click HERE to learn more about Centro Comunitario SETAC.