Pregnancy and HIV
An HIV diagnosis does not mean you can not have children. But you can pass HIV to her baby during pregnancy, during labor, delivery or breastfeeding. The good news is that there are many ways to reduce the risk of transmission of HIV to her unborn baby to almost zero.
What can I do before getting pregnant to reduce my risk of transmitting HIV to my baby?
If you plan to become pregnant, talk to your doctor immediately. Your doctor can talk to you about how HIV can affect your health during pregnancy and the health of the unborn baby. Your doctor can work with you to prepare for a healthy pregnancy before you start trying to get pregnant.
Everyone living with HIV should take HIV medications to stay healthy. If you are thinking of becoming pregnant and are not taking HIV treatment, it is important to start, because this will reduce your chances of passing the virus to your baby when you become pregnant.
There are many ways for you to become pregnant to limit the risk of your partner from HIV infection. You can ask your doctor about how to get pregnant and still protect your partner.
I do not have HIV, but my partner does. Can I get pregnant without HIV?
Women have a higher risk of HIV infection during vaginal sex than men. If you do not have HIV, but her male partner does, the risk of contracting HIV trying to get pregnant can be reduced but not completely eliminated.
Talk to your doctor about anti-HIV drugs that can be taken (called pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP) to help you and your baby HIV protection.
You are also typically considered a sperm donor or assisted reproductive technology such as sperm washing or Vitro fertilization to get pregnant. These options can be expensive and may not be covered by insurance.
I’m pregnant. Will my baby have HIV?
If you just found out that you are pregnant, consult your doctor immediately. Find out what you can do to take care of yourself and give your baby a healthy start in life.
With the help of your doctor, you can decide on the best treatment for you and your baby before, during and after pregnancy. You should also take these measures before and during pregnancy to help you and your baby stay healthy.
The fact that you have HIV does not mean that your child will get HIV. In the United States, before it was available effective treatment, about 25% of pregnant mothers with HIV passed the virus to their babies. Today, if HIV treatment is taken and has an undetectable viral load, the risk of transmitting HIV to your baby is less than 1% .1
What I can do to reduce my risk of transmitting HIV to my baby?
Thanks to more HIV tests and new drugs, the number of children infected with HIV during pregnancy, labor and delivery and breastfeeding has declined by 90% since the mid-1990s.1
The following steps can reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to your baby:
Tell your doctor you want to get pregnant. Your doctor can help you decide if you need to change your treatment to reduce their viral load to help get pregnant without transmitting HIV to your partner and to prevent the virus from being transmitted to your baby. He or she will also help you get as healthy as possible before becoming pregnant to improve your chances of a healthy pregnancy and baby. Do not stop using condoms to prevent STIs and another method of birth control to prevent pregnancy until the doctor is healthy enough to start trying.
Get prenatal care. Prenatal care is the care you receive from your doctor during pregnancy. You need to work closely with your doctor during your pregnancy to monitor your treatment, your health, and the health of your baby.
HIV treatment initiation. You can start treatment before pregnancy to reduce the risk of transmission of HIV to her baby. If you are already in treatment, do not stop, but do see your doctor immediately. Some HIV drugs should not be used during pregnancy. For other drugs, you may need a different dose.
Manage side effects. The side effects of HIV medications can be especially difficult during pregnancy, but it’s still important to take your medicine as directed by your doctor. Talk to your doctor about any side effects you have and ways to handle them.
Do not breastfeed. It can transmit the virus to her baby through breast milk, even if you are taking medication. The best way to prevent transmission of HIV to your baby is to feed your infant formula instead of breastfeeding.
Make sure your baby is HIV test right after birth. You must choose a doctor or clinic with experience in the care of infants exposed to HIV. They will tell you what follow-up tests your baby will need and when. Talk to your doctor about whether your baby may benefit from starting treatment immediately.
Ask your HIV specialist pediatrician if your baby could benefit from HIV drugs before you know if your baby is HIV-positive or HIV-negative. Research has shown that the administration of the drug combination HIV to newborns is better in preventing HIV who take AZT (azidothymidine, an antiretroviral drug) alone.
Can I take anti-HIV drugs during pregnancy?
pregnant women infected with HIV should take HIV medications. These drugs can reduce the risk of transmission of HIV to a baby and improve the health of the mother.
If you have not used any anti-HIV drugs before pregnancy and are in their first trimester, your doctor will help you decide whether to start treatment.
Here are some things to consider:
- Nausea and vomiting may make it difficult to take HIV medication during early pregnancy.
- It is possible that the drug may affect your baby. Your doctor will prescribe a drug that is safe to use during pregnancy.
- HIV is most commonly transmitted to a baby at the end of pregnancy or during labor. HIV can be transmitted to the beginning of pregnancy if your viral load is detectable.
- Studies show treatment is more effective in preventing HIV in a baby if it started before pregnancy or as soon as possible during pregnancy.
If you are taking HIV medications and learns that she is pregnant in the first trimester of pregnancy, talk to your doctor about fulfilling its current treatment plan. Some things you can talk to your doctor include:
- Whether to continue or stop the treatment of HIV in the first quarter. Stop HIV drugs could make your viral load to rise. If the viral load increases the risk of infection also rises. His illness could also worsen and cause problems for your baby. So this is a serious decision to make with your doctor.
- What effects of its HIV drugs can have on the baby
- Whether you are at risk of drug resistance. This means that HIV drug-taking no longer works against HIV. Never stop taking your HIV medication without first talking to your doctor.
Read More: Get Pregnant Fast and Naturally