If you're pregnant and HIV-positive, you can still have an HIV-negative baby, but you will need to take HIV medicines. If you are HIV positive and you don’t get treatment or you don’t take it properly, you could pass the virus on to your baby. This is called mother-to-child-transmission (MTCT). HIV can be passed on when:
- You are pregnant
- You are giving birth
- You are breastfeeding
Go for ante-natal care as soon as you know you're pregnant. They should offer you an HIV test, but if they don’t ask for one. If you test positive for HIV and you are pregnant, you will start ARVs immediately. After birth, your baby will also be given Nevirapine syrup to reduce the chance of infection with HIV. All babies born to mothers with HIV should be tested for HIV at 6 weeks of age and 6 weeks after you stop breastfeeding.
If you are pregnant and HIV positive, you can pass HIV to your baby. If you know your HIV status, you can reduce the chance that your baby will get the HIV by taking ARVs. Visit the clinic for an HIV test as soon as you know you are pregnant. Tell yourself that “HIV will end with me” and will not be passed to my baby and make it happen.
Positive? Find out more about how to handle it below.