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Can HIV affect my pregnancy and my baby's health?

Your health care provider will tell you that the main concern is ensuring you get the right treatment to protect your health and prevent your baby from being infected with HIV. With appropriate treatment during pregnancy, your baby's risk is reduced.

 

To reduce your baby’s chance of getting the infection you may have to:

  1. Take HIV medication, called antiretroviral therapy (ART), exactly as your health care provider prescribes during pregnancy and in labor.
  2. Have a C-section if the amount of HIV in the blood (the viral load) is at an unsafe level at the end of pregnancy.
  3. After discussing with your health care provider, choose the most appropriate feeding option for your baby.
  4. Give your baby antiretroviral treatment until you is sure that he is HIV negative. Normally this takes a while, however at least by months old you can be certain about your baby’s status.