Dr Tlailane has a special interest in HIV care and management and is passionate about family planning and HIV awareness and education. Furthermore, the transmission of HIV from mother to child is a subject that is particularly close to his heart – he knows how fearful mothers are when they first learn of their diagnosis and how important counselling is, as well as how important it is to have the right medical care as early as possible.
In line with the National Department of Health and South African National AIDS Council protocols, Dr Tlailane recommends that the following steps are taken following a positive test for HIV:
All HIV-positive women should be clinically tested and have their CD4 cell count checked, as well as have a screening for TB, ideally on the same day as the confirmation of their HIV-positive test result
Women who have WHO clinical stage 3 or 4 disease should be started on lifelong ART immediately
The post-test counselling session for women who are HIV positive should have the following:
Information about antiretroviral therapy and side effects of the medication
Counselling on safe infant feeding options
Counselling on exposure to stigma
Information and counselling on contraception and future family planning
Information about safer sexual practices during pregnancy and in the long-term
Information on and referral to support services and positive living
Information on disclosure and right to privacy
It is important that HIV positive women are offered counselling at every antenatal care visit and are encouraged to join support groups. With the right amount of compassion and medical care, Dr Tlailane firmly believes that HIV/AIDS is not the death sentence it was once considered to be.