Thanks to advances in HIV treatments, you can have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies, with the support of your healthcare team.
In fact, the advice available for women living with HIV is generally the same as for women who are HIV-negative. There are only a few extra steps to be aware of to help reduce the risk of transferring HIV to your partner and child. For more information see How can I prepare?
If you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, there are things you can do to protect your health and the health of your unborn child:
Yes, your HIV status does not prevent you from getting pregnant. You may conceive naturally and significantly reduce the risk of passing on HIV to your partner, if you follow your HIV treatment as advised by your healthcare team, have had an undetectable HIV viral load for more than six months, and neither you or your partner have any sexually transmitted infections.
Your partner may also be offered anti-HIV treatment as a preventative step when you are trying to conceive.
Talk to your healthcare team as they can recommend the safest way for you to conceive naturally.
Your options for giving birth are dependent on your HIV viral load during pregnancy and your personal circumstances:
It is a good idea to talk through your options and delivery preferences with your healthcare team. They can also advise on other considerations for the birth.
Having a child is a rewarding and exciting experience, but there can be challenges along the way. For all mums, receiving support from your partner, family, friends and healthcare team can make all the difference during difficult times.
Talking to other mums living with HIV can also be helpful, as they can provide practical advice and talk about their own experiences of starting a family. Watch Angelina’s story of motherhood and hear her top tips on how to manage parenthood.
You can also ask your healthcare team for information about local support groups.