HIV During Pregnancy
HIV during pregnancy is the presence of HIV in a woman while she is pregnant. Women with HIV or AIDS may transmit the disease/infection to their child during pregnancy, childbirth and even while breastfeeding.
The transmission of the infection could be prevented from mother to the child by appropriate treatment. The treatment could be initiated in women before, during, and after pregnancy. The born child is also given the medication temporarily to reduce the risk of infection. Since HIV may also be spread through breast milk, mothers are advised to not breastfeed the babies and take up alternate feeding methods like bottle feeding.
Around the world, especially in India, the topic of HIV is still a taboo. People are still not ready to talk freely on the topic of HIV which prevents the earlier detection and prevention of disease.
Around half of the HIV patients in the world are women and surprising fact is that majority of these women were sure that they were living a risk free lifestyle. People need to understand the causes and safety measures related to HIV treatment so that it could help prevent the spread. This is even more important during pregnancy. In India, women and families still refuse to take the HIV test. HIV tests during pregnancy are necessary to keep the child safe in condition of an infected mother.
Facts about HIV tests during pregnancy:
- Doing a HIV test during pregnancy is a protocol that every doctor is supposed to follow
- Transmission of HIV to the child could be prevented if mothers are detected earlier of the infection
- The HIV test results, whether positive or negative, are kept confidential
However the Perinatal HIV Transmission could be prevented. Advancements in medical research have now made it possible for many HIV positive women to give birth to HIV free babies.
Here are the major prevention measures that are taken to avoid the transmission during pregnancy:
The infected mothers should also not pre-chew food of even the older babies.
Pregnant women must take HIV medication under guidance to prevent passing the infection to the child. Studies show that the prevention of HIV transmission to the babies works best when the treatment starts even before pregnancy. One must keep in mind that HIV medication before and after pregnancy could be different and thus one must consult the doctor and provide all correct information on the condition and currently going on medication.
Whatever the condition, women should never stop taking the medication without first consulting the doctor. Stopping the HIV medication elevates the risk of HIV transmission to the child.
Revolution in the field of medicine and continuous successful researches have made it possible today to help HIV positive women give birth naturally. With the help of experienced and knowledgeable doctors, many couples are giving birth to children who are HIV free.
What needs to be done now is to get out of the taboo of HIV and start talking freely, at least to the family and doctors about the condition. This will help control and help manage HIV in pregnancy even better.