Saturday, September 24, 2011
Pregnancy and HIV/AIDS
Motherhood is a wonderful experience. Regardless of your HIV status, you may want to have children. HIV can be spread to your baby during the pregnancy, while in labor, while giving birth, or by breastfeeding. You will have many choices to make about lowering the risk of passing HIV to your baby.
If you want to become pregnant, talk to your doctor right away. Your doctor can tell you how HIV can affect your health or your unborn baby's health. Your doctor can tell you how to prepare for a healthy pregnancy. There are ways for you to get pregnant that will limit your partner's risk of HIV infection. You can ask your doctor about ways to get pregnant without having unprotected sex with your partner.
If you just found out you are pregnant, see your doctor right away. Find out what you can do to take care of yourself and to give your baby a healthy start to life.
With your doctor's help, you can decide on the best treatment for you and your baby before, during, and after the pregnancy. You should also take these steps before and during your pregnancy to help you and your baby stay healthy.
Take these steps to lower the risk of giving HIV to your baby
Just because you have HIV doesn't mean your child will get HIV. In the United States, before effective treatment was available, about 25 percent of pregnant HIV-positive mothers who didn't breastfeed and did not receive anti-HIV treatment in pregnancy passed the virus to their babies.
Today, the risk of giving HIV to your newborn is below 2 percent. But you and the baby must get the right HIV drugs at the right times. You also can't breastfeed. The steps below can lower the risk of giving HIV to your baby.