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Can a woman with hiv get pregnant

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SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Benefits and Risks of ART for Perinatal HIV Prevention

How to become pregnant when one partner is HIV positive and the other is HIV negative

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All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy. Model s used for illustrative purposes only. HIV in Specific Populations. This has allowed many of us to pursue long-term goals and ambitions, such as starting and raising a family. The good news is that there are many ways to plan a healthy pregnancy and a number of strategies to help you reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to your infant.

However, some methods are potentially riskier and more costly than others. But if the positive partner is on antiretroviral treatment and his or her viral load is undetectable, there is effectively no risk of transmission. Other ways to reduce the chance of transmission include pre-exposure prophylaxis PrEP , a short course of HIV drugs given to the negative partner before intercourse to help prevent infection.

Assisted reproduction. Assisted reproduction involves the use of technology, usually at a fertility clinic, to achieve fertilization without vaginal intercourse.

In the past, fertility clinics were generally unwilling to help out HIV-positive or HIV-serodiscordant couples wanting to become pregnant. Today, several clinics across the United States are offering a full range of reproductive services to HIV-positive couples. Regardless of which procedure is selected, it is important for the HIV-positive partner to be on antiretroviral treatment and to have an undetectable viral load before attempting fertilization.

The test tube is then placed in a centrifuge and spun at a high speed, causing the seminal fluid to rise to the top and the sperm to sink to the bottom. The seminal fluid is then skimmed off and the remaining sperm sample is tested for HIV using ultrasensitive tests. If no HIV is found, the sperm is then used to fertilize the egg using one of the procedures described above.

SPAR has a national network consisting of more than 25 fertility centers throughout the U. Is it safe to be HIV positive and pregnant? However, there are no absolute certainties or across-the-board truths. Every woman is different. In fact, a study published in September suggests that pregnancy may actually have protective health effects for women living with HIV. The study found that pregnant women living with HIV were more than 60 percent less likely to progress to AIDS or death over a six-year follow-up period than those who did not become pregnant.

However, if she receives antiretroviral therapy while she is pregnant—and keeps her viral load undetectable—the risk of her passing the virus to her baby is 2 percent or less. And if she is generally healthy, gets good prenatal care, controls risk factors smoking, high blood pressure, etc. How does mother-to-child transmission happen? Researchers are not exactly sure when babies are infected with HIV during pregnancy. However, this has not really been proven. It is known that the vast majority of infections occur during labor the time of delivery or after the baby is born and is breast-fed by his or her HIV-positive mother.

Throughout pregnancy, a developing fetus has his or her own blood supply. In other words, the developing fetus does not come into contact with the blood of his or her mother. However, developing fetuses do receive nutrients and various proteins, such as immune system antibodies, from their mothers.

Yes, they do. It is important to keep in mind what the HIV test is. The test looks for antibodies to HIV; it does not look for the virus itself.

This test can be performed within a few days after delivery and looks for HIV itself in a blood sample collected from the baby. If the test is negative, it should be repeated within a few months after the birth to look for HIV. Why is prenatal care so important?

Every pregnant woman, regardless of her HIV status, should see a doctor regularly to receive prenatal care. Simply put, prenatal care is a specialized type of health care designed to protect the health of both the woman and her developing baby. The U. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as other health care agencies and organizations, recommend that all pregnant women be tested for HIV.

Pregnant women should also be tested for rubella, hepatitis B , hepatitis C , herpes , cytomegalovirus , toxoplasmosis and syphilis. If a pregnant woman finds out that she is positive while she is pregnant, or knew that she was positive before getting pregnant, prenatal care programs can help protect her health and the health of her developing baby.

During the eighth and ninth months of pregnancy, visits are more frequent, typically every two weeks. It may also include treatments to prevent AIDS-related infections and to manage drug side effects, as well as important nutritional care. Women living with HIV might want to avoid some aspects of typical prenatal care.

While this test may be necessary to look for any genetic problems that a developing baby may have, it can also increase the risk of transmitting HIV. Should HIV treatment be used during pregnancy? In general, the same regimens that are recommended for non-pregnant women should be used in pregnant women unless there are known adverse effects.

For more information, visit the U. The most recent edition of its guidelines were last updated December What about the potential side effects of combination therapy? Pregnant women living with HIV are no different. Side effects include metabolic changes and lipodystrophy, which can cause an increase in blood levels of fats triglycerides and cholesterol and sugars glucose.

By itself, pregnancy is a risk factor for elevated glucose levels hyperglycemia. Some HIV drugs can cause liver damage, such as increases in the liver enzyme bilirubin hyperbilirubinemia. Too much of this enzyme can harm a fetus. While most HIV-positive people taking a protease inhibitor only experience mild increases in this enzyme, pregnant women taking these drugs—especially the protease inhibitors Reyataz atazanavir and Crixivan indinavir —should be extra careful and have their bilirubin levels checked via a blood test regularly.

Another possible side effect of combination therapy is pre-term delivery. In early clinical trials, some women who used a combination of HIV drugs that included protease inhibitors gave birth to their babies earlier than they should have. This can cause health problems for the baby.

However, a number of studies conducted in recent years have not found that women living with HIV receiving combination therapy are any more likely than other women to give birth to pre-term babies. Lactic acid is the chemical byproduct of this sort of abnormal energy production. Severe cases of lactic acidosis can be deadly. Some pregnant women who took these drugs together developed lactic acidosis, which resulted in deaths. It is not clear if any of the other nucleoside analogues cause lactic acidosis in women or mitochondrial damage in babies born to mothers taking these drugs.

Fortunately, Retrovir has been studied for many years in pregnant women and babies and has not been shown to cause any of these problems. What about cesarean sections? However, it is still not known if C-sections are any more effective than taking a powerful HIV drug combination in reducing this risk.

It is also not known if a woman who takes a powerful HIV drug combination and has a C-section has a lower chance of passing along the virus to her baby than a woman who takes HIV drugs and has a vaginal delivery.

Of course, C-sections are used to deliver babies for a variety of reasons. Beyond reducing the risk of mother-to-child HIV transmission, other reasons may require pregnant women living with HIV to have an elective or emergency C-section.

These include diabetes; problems that arise during delivery, such as failure to progress in labor; fetal distress; breech births; low-lying placenta placenta previa or a placenta that has prematurely separated from the uterus. This causes numbness from the waist down, allowing the doctor to make a long incision under the belly button to remove the baby. Some experts do not like the idea of C-sections used solely to reduce the risk of mother-to-child HIV transmission.

Because C-sections are a type of surgery, there are risks of infection and other complications. In fact, women living with HIV may be at a higher risk for infection or other complications than HIV-negative women undergoing C-section delivery. It is also important to remember that combination HIV treatment might do a better job of stopping transmission than a C-section. According to some studies, in HIV-positive pregnant women who have an undetectable viral load at the time of birth, the risk of delivering a baby infected with the virus is less than two percent, even with vaginal delivery.

Again, it is not known if C-sections reduce this risk any further. C-sections are an option, not a requirement. No patient should ever be forced to have a surgical procedure.

What about breast-feeding? Breast milk carries HIV too, and breast-feeding adds considerable risk of transmission. So far, research shows that the risk of breast milk transmission is highest in the first six months of life.

A handful of studies have looked at breast milk pasteurization, a procedure that allows women to express their breast milk and treat it themselves so that it becomes safe for their infants to drink. Right now, these studies have been done in resource-poor settings; your doctor may have more information about this strategy.

A study reported in July found that women taking antiretroviral therapy were far less likely to pass on HIV to their infant through breastfeeding. However, the DHHS guidelines recommend that women do not breast feed their babies. What else can I do? Take good care of yourself and gets lots of support. This could be a counselor, family member, partner or friend.

Ideally, it will be a collection of these folks. Find a nutritionist who can help you satisfy your cravings—and will also help you to eat right. And talk to other positive mothers about their experiences. Lots of women have trouble keeping to their pill schedules once the whirlwind of nursing and feeding and cleaning begins. Just discuss it with your doctor first. Or, you may want to switch to a simpler regimen.

HIV and Family Planning

Q: Can a couple in which one person is HIV positive conceive a baby without the uninfected partner becoming infected? Many couples in which one person is HIV positive and the other person isn't want to have children. With careful planning, it is possible to have a safe and successful pregnancy while preventing HIV from passing to the HIV-negative partner or to the baby. It is very important to discuss your desires and intentions for childbearing with your health care provider before the woman decides to become pregnant. Your provider can help with decisions about how to conceive safely if your provider is not familiar with reproductive issues for HIV, ask to see an HIV specialist.

Medical advances allow that things that seemed impossible a few years ago become natural today. Living a normal life as a carrier of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus HIV is one of them, and this improvement in the quality of life of people living with HIV opens the door for many couples to start planning a family. However, when dealing with something so important, doubts always get in the way and fears become even greater.

There are several different options for reducing the chances of passing on HIV while trying to get pregnant. If you are a woman living with HIV and an HIV-negative man seeking information on getting pregnant, the options below will help you understand what might be the best for you, and prepare for discussions with your health care provider. For other options and more general information, you can return to the main " Getting Pregnant and HIV " page. Please see our fact sheet on Undetectable Equals Untransmittable for more information on this exciting development. Treating any sexually transmitted infections or diseases STIs or STDs before trying to get pregnant is a great step to lower your chances of passing HIV between partners.

HIV and women – having children

Most of the advice for people with HIV is the same as it would be for anyone else thinking about having a baby. Some extra steps are necessary though to reduce the likelihood of HIV being passed on. This page takes you through the things to consider when having a baby in the UK. From conception to infant feeding, it is important to keep your healthcare team informed so that you can receive specific advice that will work for you. When a person is taking HIV treatment, and they have an undetectable viral load , the risk of HIV being passed on to their baby is just 0. Between and in the UK, only 0. Advice will be based on your general health; whether you are taking anti-HIV drugs; your viral load; and whether your partner has HIV. If you are not already taking anti-HIV medication, you will be advised to do so. HIV can be passed on during pregnancy and birth; having an undetectable viral load will prevent this.

HIV-infected women can get pregnant

There are several different options for reducing the chances of passing on HIV while trying get pregnant. If you are a man living with HIV and your partner is an HIV-negative woman seeking information on getting pregnant, the following options will help you understand what might be the best for you and prepare for discussions with your health care provider. For other options and more general information, you can return to the main " Getting Pregnant and HIV " page. Treating any sexually transmitted infections or diseases STIs or STDs before trying to get pregnant is a great first step to lower your chances of passing HIV between partners.

Victorian government portal for older people, with information about government and community services and programs.

There is good news for couples in this situation. Successful ART is as effective as consistent condom use in limiting transmission and this is recommended for safe conception in the UK. Importantly, this is provided:.

Pregnancy and HIV

All A-Z health topics. View all pages in this section. All women should be in the best health possible before becoming pregnant. A diagnosis of HIV does not mean you can't have children.

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Can couples living with HIV become pregnant? The study found that pregnant women living with HIV were more than 60 percent less likely to progress to AIDS.

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