Even op een rijtje zetten.. La aiuti, vero? You help her, right? And: Lo aiuti, vero? You help him, right? Now: Are you helping these girls??! Are you helping them?? Le aiuti?? With "la/le/lo" in the function of a pronoun, you would not contract. On colloquial base, sure, one may also say "L'aiuti, vero?" (You help her, right?). It's natural and sometimes automatical, even in writings. However you would't confuse with "the help", which in Italian can have a singular and a plural use, being l'aiuto or GLI aiuti. In fact: I help her = La aiuto, colloquially: l'aiuto) BUT: the help = l'aiuto. [Hopelijk is alles duidelijk].
There is understandably much bewilderment expressed in the comments here...We have to remember that what is called the gerund in Italian grammar does indeed derive in form (!) but not in function (!) from the Latin. It typically functions as a participle in participial phrases. In older English, -ing formed a gerund, with present participles being distinct. In modern English, -ing has taken over both functions, so students of English, including native speakers, have to learn the syntactic distinction...Participial phrases can have a causative or explanatory function: Failing to find a job, he disappointed his parents=He disappointed his parents by failing to find a job. A helpful structure-by-structure English translation might have been: "Staying here, you are helping her." But I'll admit that sounds a bit odd.
Although both have the meaning of "here", there is a subtle difference between the two. I will try to explain. 'Qui' means here in the sense of a specific location, like right next to me or this seat. 'Qua' also means here, but in a more general sense. An example of the difference would be here under this tree(qui), versus here in this field(qua).
I hope I didn't make it more confusing.