A need-to-know for all pregnant women.
This information could save a baby’s life.
If you have AIDS and find out you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant, you should let your health care provider know as soon as possible. Some AIDS medicines may harm your baby. Your health care provider may want you to take different medicines or change the doses.
It is also possible to give HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, to your baby. This is most likely to happen around the time you give birth. For this reason, treatment during this time is very important for protecting your baby from infection. Several treatments can help the virus from spreading from you to your baby. Your health care provider can recommend the best one for you.
Your baby will also need to have treatment for at least the first six weeks of life. Regular testing will be needed to find out if your baby is infected.
Q: Can HIV be transmitted from a mother to her baby?
A: An HIV positive woman can transmit the virus to her baby during pregnancy, labour and delivery, and through breastfeeding. If she takes no preventive drugs and breastfeeds then the chance of her baby becoming infected is around 20-45%.
Q: Can this risk be reduced?
A: Modern drugs are highly effective at preventing HIV transmission during pregnancy, labour and delivery. When combined with other interventions, including formula feeding, a complete course of treatment can cut the risk of transmission tobelow 2%. Even where resources are limited, a single dose of medicine given to mother and baby can cut the risk in half.
Modern drugs are highly effective at preventing HIV transmission during pregnancy, labour and delivery. When combined with other interventions, including formula feeding, a complete course of treatment can cut the risk of transmission to below 2%.