If you are pregnant or plan to be pregnant, HIV testing is recommended. The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is the infection spread by contact with body fluids or shared needles of another person with HIV. Body fluids are blood, urine, stool, vomit, semen, and vaginal secretions. HIV causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). AIDS is a disease that weakens the body’s immune system and makes it hard for your body to fight infection. There is no vaccine to prevent HIV and no cure for AIDS.
HIV testing is recommended for all pregnant women in the early months of pregnancy. A blood test is often done and test results will be shared with you by your doctor or health care provider.
HIV tests do not tell you if you have AIDS. HIV tests may be repeated during pregnancy.
Many mothers with HIV can have a safe pregnancy when they are treated for the virus. If you have HIV, there are medicines to protect your health and reduce the chance of the infection in your baby. If you are not already on a treatment before pregnancy, medicines may be started after the first trimester.
Preventing Infection in Your Baby At Delivery
It can be a good idea to have a cesarean delivery instead of a vaginal delivery. Cesarean delivery may reduce the chance of HIV infection being passed on to your baby. The surgery may be planned a week or more before your delivery date. You should talk with your doctor about your delivery.
Talk to your doctor or health provider if you have questions or concerns.