Reducing Transmission Risk To Your Newborn
After your baby is born, they will usually be given antiretroviral medicines for about 4 to 6 weeks. This will help to prevent your baby from getting infected with HIV.
Also, on the day of birth, your baby is likely to be tested to find out if they developed HIV during pregnancy. Your baby will generally be tested again at 6 and 12 weeks.
If you have any questions about your risk of infecting your baby, talk to your doctor or HIV specialist.
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- HIV can pass from mother to baby during pregnancy or birth or via breastmilk.
- Due to treatment advances, mother to child transmission of HIV is very rare in Australia.
- With medical support, the HIV transmission rate from mother with HIV taking antiretroviral treatment to their unborn child is 1% or less in Australia.
Would I Transmit Hiv To The Baby
Ive always had close girlfriends which is obviously a bit unfortunate given where Im aiming at but Ive always had these girls that arent, like, in love and I would sort of joke and say, oh well, you know, if you get to 35 and you havent got a kid, Ill give you one But obviously youve then got this problem because you cant actually give someone this healthy baby.
Lesbian friends of mine, theyre like, oh, would you be my sperm donor? That was always a bit of a joke, you know. But then, when these questions arose once I was diagnosed with HIV, it was like, oh, I dont think you want that.
One day me and my partner talked about, like, if you didnt have HIV, you could have your child with a woman and you know, you could give your own sperm and have a child. But because we are both HIV-positive we dont have that option. So the only way for us is to adopt a child.
Well, I know it cant be my own specimen because its infected. But adoption yes. Giving somebody an opportunity for a better life I think its a beautiful thing to do.
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Emotional And Social Support
Of course, there are also many emotional and social implications of an HIV diagnosis. The stigma associated with HIV is still evident. Here at GOSH, we run a multidisciplinary clinic where healthcare professionals offer medical, psychosocial and other support to children, young people and their families.
Many of the families we see live in secrecy and isolation. They may agonise over what or whether to tell friends and family. It can be helpful to tell schools but this is not mandatory.
Parents often find it difficult to explain the diagnosis to their child and can put it off for months and even years. However older children and teenagers need to be able to talk about their HIV status, to be involved in decisions about treatment and safer sex issues.
Hiv And Getting Pregnant
If you are HIV-positive and become pregnant, or would like to have a baby, it is strongly recommended that you talk to specialists.
If you live in Victoria, The Victorian HIV Service at the Alfred Hospital and the Chronic Viral Illness Clinic at the Royal Womens Hospital can provide you with more information.
At the Chronic Viral Illness Clinic at the Royal Womens Hospital you can discuss your options with doctors who specialise in HIV and reproductive health.
This clinic specialises in helping serodiscordant couples to conceive safely.
Timing of sex to coincide with ovulation can be discussed with a healthcare provider to increase your chances of getting pregnant while reducing the risk of passing on the virus.
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Hiv Sexuality And Reproduction
As a result of advancements in highly active antiretroviral therapy, people living with HIV in countries with access to treatment, such as the UK, have near-normal life expectancy . Despite the persistence of HIV stigma , living with HIV has become in many ways normalised , which manifests, among other things, in conventional expectations about the future. Antiretroviral treatment not only improves health outcomes but also reduces potential infectivity a phenomenon described in public health as treatment as prevention or TasP. There is now a consensus among scientists and clinicians that effective antiretroviral treatment, which lowers the viral load to undetectable levels, eliminates the risk of HIV transmission to sexual partners . This marks a shift from the recognition that having an undetectable viral load significantly reduces the risk of transmission a dominant view among medical experts until 2017 to the current acknowledgement that there is effectively zero risk of transmission . In other words, to use a slogan from Terrence Higgins Trusts 2019 campaign, people on effective HIV treatment cant pass it on.
Ok So It Works For Moms But Hiv
Wrong again! Knowledge and treatment of HIV have made it increasingly possible for men living with HIV to safely father biological children. to assist HIV-negative women in having babies with HIV-positive men. Recently, the FDA even that, with the guidance of an HIV expert physician, may protect an HIV-negative mom-to-be while she and her positive babydaddy attempt to conceive more naturally. With sperm washing, surrogacy and reproductive technologies, !
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How Does Hiv Spread
You get HIV by coming in direct contact with body fluids from a person who is infected with HIV. You cant get HIV from shaking hands or hugging a person who has HIV. You cant get HIV from contact with objects like dishes, toilet seats or doorknobs touched or used by someone with HIV. HIV doesnt spread through the air or through mosquito, tick or other insect bites.
Body fluids that can contain HIV include:
- Rectal fluids
In the United States, HIV mainly spreads through:
- Having anal or vaginal sex with someone who has HIV without using a condom or taking medicines to prevent or treat HIV. Most new HIV infections in women come from having vaginal or anal sex with a man who is infected. Theres little to no risk of getting HIV from oral sex, but its possible if a man with HIV ejaculates in your mouth.
- Sharing needles, syringes, rinse water or other equipment used with street drugs with someone who has HIV. HIV can live in a needle for up to 42 days.
Youre at increased risk for HIV if you:
- Have sex with more than one partner
- Have sex with partners who use intravenous street drugs. This means they inject street drugs into their body through a needle into a vein.
- Have sex with partners who also have sex with men
- Have another sexually transmitted infection . An STI, like HIV, is an infection you can get from having sex with someone who is infected. Certain STIs can increase your chances of getting HIV.
Less common ways HIV can spread include:
Getting Pregnant When A Male Partner Is Hiv
If a male partner is HIV-positive, a procedure called sperm washing can be used to conceive. During this procedure a machine separates sperm cells from the seminal fluid, which can carry the virus. The washed sperm is then used to fertilise the womans egg using a special catheter inserted into the uterus.
If the male partner is on effective treatment and has a stable undetectable viral load, there is no risk of HIV transmission.
In-vitro-fertilisation may also be an option.
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What Factors Put Men Who Have Sex With Men At Risk Of Hiv
The fact that HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men is so high in many countries means that members of this group have an increased chance of being exposed to the virus. This is mainly due to having unprotected sex.10 However, there are other factors that put men who have sex with men at heightened risk of HIV.
Pregnant Women Are Eating For Two
Now that’s a myth that transcends HIV status. A with each trimester of her pregnancy — but this does not mean that women ought to eat two full, adult-sized breakfasts, lunches and dinners every day they’re pregnant! This article by HIV and nutrition specialist Maya Feller, M.S., R.D., . The guidance in this piece is geared for women living with HIV, but is applicable to most pregnant women, regardless of HIV status.
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To Have A Child Who Is Hiv Negative A Mom Living With Hiv Definitely Has To Deliver Her Baby Via Cesarean Section Right
Untrue! Unless her viral load is 1,000 copies/mL or greater, or there’s some other medical reason for a C-section, . Back when research into positive women having babies was new, C-section birth was considered safest because it reduced a newborn’s exposure to its mother’s blood and other bodily fluids. Now that advances in HIV treatment have made it possible to get levels of HIV in a woman’s body down to where they can’t even be detected by sensitive tests, there’s no longer a need to keep a baby from making that trip through its mama’s birth canal. Furthermore, these same advances in treatment — if a woman, working with experienced providers, so chooses.
Theres Never Been A Better Time To Get Pregnant If One Of You Has Hiv
Straight or gay, aspiring parents who have HIV in the mix have numerous options for conceiving a child without transmitting the virus.
Throughout the decade, scientific research has brought into increasingly sharp focus the awesome power of antiretrovirals to prevent HIV transmission.
Mounting evidence suggests that people with HIV virtually eliminate their risk of transmitting the virus to others by fully suppressing their virus through ARV treatment. . In fact, the risk of transmitting HIV with an undetectable viral load may be zero.
Additionally, HIV-negative people who stick to the daily regimen of Truvada as pre-exposure prophylaxis likely benefit from a similarly high level of protection against the virus. And weve known for decades that expectant mothers with HIV can keep from passing along the virus to their babies if theyre on ARVs.
All this is excellent news for those looking to conceive a child when one or both of the prospective parents are living with HIV. Having a baby without transmitting the virus to the parent or the baby can now be as simple as taking a pill every daywithout significant medication toxicities.
Sperm washing, while quite expensive, is another means of protecting a pregnant woman from contracting HIV from a man living with the virus. For HIV-positive gay men, this remains a central option for having a biological child.
The Woman Has HIV:
Straight Couple, the Man Has HIV:
An HIV-Positive Man and a Surrogate:
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What If I Want To Get Pregnant And My Partner Has Hiv
If you are trying to get pregnant and your partner does not know whether he has HIV, he should get tested.
If your partner does have HIV and you do not, talk to your doctor about taking PrEP. PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis.This means taking medicines to prevent HIV. The PrEP helps to protect both you and your baby from HIV.
Can A Person Receive Hiv Treatment While Pregnant
Most HIV treatment is safe to use during pregnancy. Generally, pregnant people with HIV can use the same HIV treatment recommended for non-pregnant people unless the side effects outweigh the benefits to the infant.
However, a person who is pregnant and taking HIV medication may experience some side effects. Common side effects can include:
However, having a cesarean delivery also carries other risks if a person is HIV-positive. A person who is HIV-positive may have a low CD4 cell count, which indicates a weak immune system. Therefore, they may be at greater risk of infection after cesarean delivery.
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More Help And Support
- Positively UK is a charity providing support to people living with HIV and can offer you friendly peer support groups and workshops.
- Body and Soul is based in London and provide a range of support to families and children including groups for tots, children and teens.
- i-base pregnancy guide is up-to-date and exhaustive .
- If you live in London, Positive Parenting and Children might be able to help you.
- CHIVA, the Children’s HIV Association has lots of resources for parents and families affected by HIV.
Zambia: Factors Encouraging Men To Test In The Popart Study
Mwelwa Phiri and colleagues in the PopART study team looked at what factors had encouraged HIV testing during the door-to-door testing campaign in the PopART study, focusing specifically on the third round of testing in Zambia.
PopART, also known as HPTN 071, was a large community-randomised trial carried out in Zambia and KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. The study tested the impact on HIV incidence of household-based HIV testing and linkage to care by community HIV care providers , and immediate initiation of antiretroviral treatment delivered through routine healthcare services. The strategy led to a 30% reduction in HIV infections, investigators reported in 2019, and demonstrated that it was possible to rapidly achieve 90-90-90 targets for testing, treatment and viral suppression in rural and urban areas.
Comparing one group with another, expresses differences in the odds of something happening. An odds ratio above 1 means something is more likely to happen in the group of interest an odds ratio below 1 means it is less likely to happen. Similar to relative risk.
The study also reported high uptake of home-based HIV testing, but found challenges in contacting men for testing.
Community health worker characteristics had a modest impact on testing acceptance. Community health workers who were at least five years older than the male participant had a greater influence than health workers of a similar age .
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Desires And Motivations For Having A Child
When asked, in the questionnaire, if they wanted to have a biological child with their current partner, the majority of men said Yes. In interviews, these participants further described the motives underlying their desires, which we grouped into three broad categories: normalization existential and altruistic . Many felt unready to act on their desire until they achieved some conditions that they felt would enable them to be good parents or had some concerns alleviated . In some cases, the desire to have a child was in fact a motivation to surmount these problems or was often strong enough to overcome fears of horizontal or vertical transmission, as discussed below. outlines the different types of desires and motivations to have children under each category with representative participant quotes.
Many participants who wanted to have a child thought doing so was normative and socially expected of them or that it would demonstrate their virility and physical normality as adult males despite their HIV infection. Their understanding of normalcy reflected cultural ideals about adulthood, maleness, and heterosexual relationships.
Fatherhood as a social obligation and legacy
Procreation as a demonstration of virility and able-bodiedness
Normal progression of a relationship
Give meaning and direction to ones life
Overcome difficult family circumstances
What Extra Precautions Are Taken To Ensure Your Surrogate And Baby’s Safety
Intended dads who are HIV-positive will be thoroughly screened prior to matching with a gestational carrier. You will first need to be cleared by your HIV physician to ensure you are undetectable. You will be cleared if you have been following your HIV regime as prescribed by your doctor, have had an undetectable viral loan for at least six months prior to beginning your surrogacy journey, and have no additional sexually transmitted infections. FDA regulations further require that you provide three semen samples, all of which will be double washed, prior to proceeding.
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Finding A Supportive Provider
When choosing to have a child as a person living with HIV, it is important to be an advocate for yourself and your future child. Finding the right health care provider who is supportive of your plans to have a baby is a big first step! A friendly health care provider can talk with you about many issues around pregnancy and having children: which conception option is right for you, and appropriate HIV treatments for you and/or your partner. They may also be able to speak with you about whether to disclose your HIV status to others , and how to handle any stigma or fear you may experience around living with HIV and being pregnant. Please see the main “Getting Pregnant and HIV” page for even more information about building a support network.
Ultimately, you get to choose when and whether to have children. You deserve to be treated with respect and given access to the information necessary to make an informed decision and plan for your future.
Do People Living With Hiv Require Extra Antenatal Care
A person living with HIV may require extra antenatal care, such as from an HIV clinic as well as their obstetrician. This may include taking HIV medication called antiretrovirals, making preparations for a certain delivery method, and further advice on feeding methods.
A person may require antiretroviral therapy to reduce their viral load to ensure the virus does not pass to the unborn child. A viral load refers to the amount of virus per milliliter of blood in a person. ART can suppress the amount of HIV in the body, even to a point where the viral load is undetectable on tests. Viral suppression is when there are
no cure for HIV. However, a person can treat and manage HIV with medication.
HIV can pass from the pregnant person to the fetus through the placenta. The placenta is the organ in the uterus that provides the fetus with nutrients and removes waste products. Antiretrovirals reduce the viral load of HIV in the body and can reduce the risk of the virus passing to the fetus.
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists recommends the following guidelines for people to reduce the risk of passing HIV to their infant:
- taking a combination of antiretrovirals during the pregnancy
- delivering the baby by cesarean if the HIV level in the body is high
- taking HIV medication during labor and delivery
- giving HIV medication to the baby after birth
- choosing not to breastfeed
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