What If My Baby Is Hiv
With excellent health care, the mother-to-child HIV transmission rate is almost zero.
In the very rare case, your baby is HIV-positive, there are many supportive professionals and organisations that can help you during this difficult time.
You can expect welcoming, non-judgemental and compassionate care for yourself and your baby.
Medical care for babies with HIV is highly specialised. Early diagnosis means that a baby can begin effective treatment and have every chance for a long, healthy life.
What Should I Do If I Am Planning To Have A Baby
- If either you or your partner is HIV positive, you should be advised about safer sex practices and the use of condoms to prevent transmission of HIV.
- You should be offered pre-pregnancy counselling and advice on conception options with a team, which should include a fertility specialist and an HIV specialist.
- You will be advised to wait until your viral load is low and to make sure any infection is treated.
- All women are advised to take folic acid for 3 months before they get pregnant. If you are taking co-trimoxazole, you will be advised to take the higher dose of folic acid .
- If the male partner is HIV positive:
- The risk of transmitting HIV to the woman is almost zero if he is taking HAART, has had a viral load of less than 50 for at least 6 months and has no other infections and unprotected intercourse occurs just at the fertile time of the woman’s cycle in this situation, sperm washing may not reduce the risk of transmitting HIV and may actually reduce the likelihood of getting pregnant.
- You may wish to consider assisted conception with sperm washing or donor sperm if there is a high chance of transmitting HIV.
Managing Illness As A Parent
Although medical advances now allow people with HIV to live full, healthy lives, you may have times where you or your partner is unwell or needs medical care.
As with any longer-term illness, this can impact on your ability to earn an income, manage a household or raise children.
Living with chronic illness can be a challenge and sometimes families need extra support. Trying to sort things out on your own can make life seem overwhelming. Dont be afraid to ask for help from expert organisations that support people with HIV.
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Should Women With Hiv Take Hiv Medicines During Pregnancy
Yes. All pregnant women with HIV should take HIV medicines throughout pregnancy for their own health and to prevent perinatal transmission of HIV. Perinatal transmission of HIV is also called mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
HIV medicines, when taken as prescribed, prevent HIV from multiplying and reduce the amount of HIV in the body . An undetectable viral load is when the level of HIV in the blood is too low to be detected by a viral load test. The risk of perinatal transmission of HIV during pregnancy and childbirth is lowest when a woman with HIV has an undetectable viral load. Maintaining an undetectable viral load also helps keep the mother-to-be healthy.
Can I Get Help Paying For Care During Pregnancy
If you are pregnant, Medicaid may pay for your prenatal care. If you are pregnant and living with HIV, Medicaid might pay for counseling, medicine to lower the risk of passing HIV to your baby, and treatment for HIV. Each state makes its own rules regarding Medicaid. Contact your local or county medical assistance, welfare, or social services office to learn more. If you are unable to find that number, search your state’s department of health.
If you don’t think you qualify for assistance, check again. Sometimes states change their Medicaid rules. Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid eligibility expanded to cover many more people. Also, you may be newly eligible for Medicaid because of increased income limits for prenatal care and HIV treatment for pregnant women.
You may also access care through the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program. Find a Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program medical care provider near you.
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What Can I Do To Reduce The Risk Of Passing Hiv On To My Baby
If you already know you have HIV, talk to your GP or HIV team before you get pregnant if possible. If youre already pregnant, you can speak to your GP or midwife.
They may refer you to an antenatal HIV team. This team may include an HIV specialist, a doctor who specialises in pregnancy and childbirth , a specialist midwife and a doctor who treats children . They may also put you in touch with local support groups.
Its important to tell your doctor if your partner has HIV, although people living with HIV who are on effective treatment cant pass the virus on to their sexual partners.
You and your health care professional will discuss things you can do to reduce the risk of passing HIV to your baby. They include the following:
- Taking a combination of antiretroviral drugs during your pregnancy.
- Having your baby by c-section if tests show that your level of HIV is high.
- Taking antiretroviral drugs during labour and delivery if they are recommended.
- Giving antiretroviral drugs to your baby after birth.
- Bottle-feeding instead of breastfeeding.
If I Have Hiv Can I Pass It On To My Baby During Pregnancy
If you are pregnant and have HIV/AIDS,there is a risk of passing HIV to your baby. It can happen in three ways:
- During pregnancy
- During childbirth, especially if it is vaginal childbirth. In some cases, your doctor may suggest doing a Cesarean section to lower the risk during childbirth.
- During breastfeeding
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If You’re Feeling Depressed
It’s normal to feel as though you’re not coping at times, to stop enjoying being with friends and family, or to feel sad or have trouble sleeping.
But if these feelings last a long time or you continue to feel overwhelmed by them, you may have depression.
Get help as soon as possible as you may need treatment.
Your HIV clinic, local mental health services or GP can all help you.
Does Having A Caesarean Reduce The Risk Of Passing On Hiv
Advances in treatment mean that a vaginal delivery shouldn’t increase the risk of passing HIV to your baby if both of the following apply:
- the HIV virus can’t be detected in your blood
- your HIV is well managed
In some cases, doctors may recommend a planned caesarean section before going into labour to reduce the risk of passing on HIV.
- if you’re not taking antiretroviral drugs
- if the HIV virus can be detected in your blood
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Should Pregnant Women Get Tested For Hiv How Is Testing Done
Women who are planning on becoming pregnant or who are pregnant should be tested for HIV as soon as possible. The womans partner should also be tested. The March of Dimes recommends that all women of childbearing age who may have been exposed to HIV should be tested before becoming pregnant. Women who have not been tested before becoming pregnant should be offered counseling and voluntary testing during pregnancy. Women who have not been tested during pregnancy can be screened during labor and delivery with rapid tests which can produce results in less than one hour. This allows for treatment to protect the baby should the results be positive.HIV/AIDS testing is conducted with a blood test.
A womans health care provider may offer testing and counseling or may refer her to a local testing site. Additional information about testing can be obtained from:
- National IV Testing Resources
- CDC-INFO 24 hours/day at 1-800-232-4636
- National Aids Hotline at 1-800-342-AIDS
The Food and Drug Administration has approved the Home Access HIV Test System. This testing system allows for confidential testing with the use of a home testing kit.
I’m Pregnant Will My Baby Have Hiv
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 before and during your pregnancy to help you and your baby stay healthy.
Just because you have HIV doesn’t mean your child will get HIV. In the United States, before effective treatment was available, about 25% of pregnant mothers with HIV passed the virus to their babies. Today, if you take HIV treatment and have an undetectable viral load, your risk of passing HIV to your baby is less than 1%.
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Telling Health Professionals About Your Hiv Status
It is important to tell your doctor, obstetrician or midwife about your HIV status as early as you can .
Telling your health team, helps to talk through any concerns you may have and ensure you receive treatment before that suits your needs, and is safe throughout pregnancy and after your baby is born.
Also, if your medical team knows about your HIV status, they can take steps to minimise the risk of accidental transmission during any medical procedures.
What Happens If I Have A Planned Caesarean Section
If you are taking HAART, you should continue to take this as advised by your doctor.
You should be prescribed zidovudine through a drip, which will be started a few hours before your caesarean section. It should continue until your baby is born and the umbilical cord has been clamped.
Because you are likely to have your caesarean section before 39 weeks, you should be offered a course of two to four corticosteroid injections over a 48-hour period to lessen the chance of breathing problems for your baby. You can find out more about this from the RCOG patient information leaflet Corticosteroids in pregnancy to reduce complications from being born prematurely.
If your contractions start before your planned caesarean section, you should come straight to hospital. The caesarean section will be done as soon as possible. Occasionally, labour may be too advanced and it may be safer for you and your baby to have a vaginal birth.
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What Happens If I Am Hiv Positive
If your test results are positive with a rapid test then you need a lab test to confirm the result.
If your positive result came from a lab test, then the confirmatory test will already have been done.
If you are HIV positive then your test centre will arrange for you to speak with a doctor. It is important that you then have a few other tests to see how strong your immune system is.
You should also be offered HIV treatment , Many people now start ART as soon as they find out they are HIV positive.
You will need time to come to terms with this news.
With support and information this will become easier. Good information will help you to make informed decisions about your health.
Learning you are HIV positive is never great news. But HIV is now largely a treatable and manageable infection.
HIV treatment can give you a normal life expectancy with a great quality of life.
Even before the new treatments, HIV positive people wanted to continue to live life to the full. There are very few things that you cant do now because of this virus.
For further information or support then please contact i-Base via our website or our treatment information phoneline.
What Are The Risk Factors For Transmitting Hiv During Pregnancy
If a woman is infected with HIV, her risk of transmitting the virus to her baby is reduced if she stays as healthy as possible. According to the March of Dimes, new treatments can reduce the risk of a treated mother passing HIV to her baby to a 2 percent or less chance.Factors which increase the risk of transmission include:
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How To Protect Your Baby
The first course of action is to get tested. The American Pregnancy Association advised people who are planning to get pregnant or who are already pregnant to get tested for HIV as soon as possible. Both the mother and her partner should get tested. Also, the mother should attend her antenatal appointments during which the doctor may offer a blood test to check for other infections like hepatitis B, syphilis, and rubella aside from HIV. This is done so the doctor can plan a course of action, treatment, or approach that will be best suited to the mothers health and to ultimately protect the baby.
In some parts of the US where HIV is more prevalent, the CDC recommends a second test during the third trimester of pregnancy . Mothers who have not been tested during pregnancy can also be screened during labor and delivery using rapid tests which can come back with results in less than an hour.
The mother should also be tested if she feels she may have been exposed to the virus at any time during her pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
Looking After Your Baby If Youre Living With Hiv
The safest way to feed your baby is with formula milk. If your HIV is well controlled with antiretroviral medication, the risk of passing the virus to your baby through breastfeeding is low. Your GP or HIV team can help you choose how you want to feed your baby.
Your baby will have blood tests in the weeks and months after birth to check they havent got the virus. If youre breastfeeding, you and your baby will have these tests more often.
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Should I Deliver My Baby By Caesarean Section
The best way to deliver your baby depends on how much of the virus is in your blood at the time of delivery. Your doctor can give you advice on what is right for you. If your viral load is high, your doctor will likely recommend a Caesarean section to prevent your baby from getting HIV during labour. If your viral load is low, your doctor will probably recommend a vaginal delivery unless there is some other reason why you need a Caesarean section.
What Can I Do To Lower My Risk Of Passing Hiv To My Baby
Thanks to more HIV testing and new medicines, the number of children infected with HIV during pregnancy, labor and childbirth, and breastfeeding has decreased by 90% since the mid-1990s.
The steps below can lower the risk of giving HIV to your baby:
Tell your doctor you want to get pregnant. Your doctor can help you decide if you need to change your treatments to lower your viral load, to help you get pregnant without passing HIV to your partner, and to prevent you from passing the virus to your baby. He or she will also help you get as healthy as possible before you get pregnant to improve your chances of a healthy pregnancy and baby. Don’t stop using condoms for STI prevention and another method of birth control for pregnancy prevention until your doctor says you are healthy enough to start trying.
Get prenatal care. Prenatal care is the care you receive from your doctor while you are pregnant. You need to work closely with your doctor throughout your pregnancy to monitor your treatment, your health, and your baby’s health.
Start HIV treatment. You can start treatment before pregnancy to lower the risk of passing HIV to your baby. If you are already on treatment, do not stop, but do see your doctor right away. Some HIV drugs should not be used while you’re pregnant. For other drugs, you may need a different dosage.
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For Pregnant Women Living With Hiv Who Are In Labor And Have Not Taken Hiv Drugs
A woman in labor who has not taken HIV drugs can still reduce the risk of passing HIV to her baby by using HIV drugs during labor and delivery and treating the baby for a short time after birth. The DHHS guidelines recommend the following:
- For the mother: intravenous Retrovir during labor
- For the baby: a combination of six weeks of liquid Retrovir plus three doses of Viramune in the first week of life
After the baby is born, DHHS recommends that the mother start HIV treatment for her own health.
How Will Hiv Affect My Labor And Birth
If no preventative steps are taken, the risk of HIV transmission during childbirth is estimated to be 10-20%. The chance of transmission is even greater if the baby is exposed to HIV-infected blood or fluids. Health care providers should avoid performing amniotomies , episiotomies and other procedures that expose the baby to the mothers blood. The risk of transmission increases by 2% for every hour after membranes have been ruptured.Cesarean sections performed before labor and/or the rupture of membranes may significantly reduce the risk of perinatal transmission of HIV.Women who have not received any drug treatment before labor should be treated during labor with one of several possible drug regimens. These may include a combination of ZDV and another drug called 3TC or Nevirapine. Studies suggest that these treatments, even for short durations, may help reduce the risk to the baby.
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If She Is Diagnosed With Tuberculosis Could She Be Started On Anti
Anti-TB treatment must be given for 2 weeks. Then FDC could be started. Prophylaxis with AZT is given during those 2 weeks. The risk of side effects is increased when ARV and anti-TB drugs are used together, especially if the tuberculosis has been treated for less than 2 weeks when the ARV drugs are started.