HIV and Pregnancy – Reducing Risk of Transmission to Your Child

hiv pregnancy transmissionPregnancy is a wonderful phenomenon. Those who are suffering from HIV/AIDS may still continue to undergo pregnancy and support offspring. The main issue against this, however, is the possibility of spreading the disease to your child. This possibility may occur during the pregnancy, while in labor, or even through breastfeeding.

You shouldn’t let this information scare you from trying to become pregnant.

Many Mothers have undergone pregnancy with HIV/AIDS, while managing their disease successfully. In fact, it has been reported that this incident occurs fewer than 2% of the time. In other words, it’s extremely rare.

Steps to Lower Your Risk of Transmitting HIV to Your Child During Pregnancy

There are certain steps you may take in an effort to dramatically decrease your chances of spreading the disease to your children:

1. Get tested.

Roughly 18% of all people with HIV do not know they have the disease. Before beginning pregnancy, get tested to make sure you may or may not have HIV.

2. Start HIV treatment either before or during your pregnancy.

If you are diagnosed with HIV, then talk to your doctor about beginning treatment right away in order to become healthy enough to support pregnancy. If you are currently on treatment, then schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss what you should be doing. If you choose not to undergo HIV treatment through childbirth, then you are putting your baby at more risk of contracting HIV.

3. Make sure your child is tested immediately after delivery.

This will determine whether or not your child should be put on treatment in order to successfully manage and control the disease. Most of the time your child will have to undergo multiple tests and wait until 2-4 months before a diagnosis is made.

How is HIV Treated?

If you are recommended to undergo treatment, you will be given certain medications designed to slow the disease from progression, as there is currently no cure for HIV. The medication is known as antiretroviral (ARV). However, those who undergo medication treatment are able to live very happily with their HIV.