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HIV: Advice For Pregnant Women

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How can mothers protect themselves from passing the HIV virus onto their baby?

Dr Michael Brady gives advice for pregnant woman about HIV and AIDS.

"It is now possible to prevent a HIV  positive pregnant woman from passing the virus onto her baby. The first and most important thing is knowing that a woman is positive. It is therefore important that every pregnant woman has a HIV pregnancy test.

If we know her HIV status then we treat her with HIV medication. This supresses the levels of the virus in her system, and therefore makes it possible for her to not transmit the virus to her baby.

It is also important that a HIV positive mother does not breastfeed after delivery. This is because the HIV virus can be found in breast milk, and this is another potential source of infection.

Nowadays, if it’s managed properly,a woman can have the normal vaginal delivery that she may want. We used to have to always do caesarean sections, but we now know that with good HIV treatment, and by fully supressing the virus levels in the woman’s blood, she can have a normal vaginal delivery like everybody else."

Dr Michael Brady Terrence Higgins Trust Medical Director


10872 Published November 2012

Review Scheduled November 2013

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