Pregnancy is definitely one of the best feelings in the world. But one can also have a pregnancy with a lot of complications especially if the mother is already suffering from some disease.
If there is HIV aids in pregnancy, then there are a number of ways through which it can get passed on to the unborn baby. The HIV blood can pass to the baby’s body and it can happen mostly in the last few weeks of pregnancy or during the time of labour and delivery. Sometimes breast feeding can also transmit HIV to the baby because it is present there in the breast milk. According to medical science there is a chance of at least 45 percent of the HIV passing on to the baby if the mother does not get treated at the right time. But if one takes the right treatment at the right time, then it might eliminate the risk.
But how will a pregnant woman get to know whether they are suffering from HIV or not? Well, one can go for the antenatal appointments where they can get an HIV test. The medical professional can offer the test at the very first appointment and if the results are positive then one will need to start their antiretroviral treatments as soon as possible. One then again has to re- run the HIV test at the third trimester which is around the 28th week.
If at any point during pregnancy or during the breast feeding stage one thinks that they have been exposed to HIV then they can be able to take PEP or the post exposure prophylaxis. One has to take PEP at least within 72 hours of possible exposure to prevent the HIV from establishing in the body and then passed on to the baby. When one is breast feeding then they should discuss it whether to continue with it to the baby or not.
If the HIV test result is positive, then one can do a number of things so that the mother can reduce the risk of passing the disease to the baby. They are:
- Taking the antiretroviral treatment in order to protect the baby.
- Take the proper and regular treatment so that there is a less chance of the baby to born with HIV.
- If one already knows that they are HIV positive and pregnant at the same time then they need to start the treatment as soon as possible.
If the mother takes the treatment properly then it will definitely lower the amount of HIV virus in their body and in some cases the level goes so low that it becomes almost undetectable in the human body. If that happens then one can go for a vaginal delivery because there, the risk of passing the HIV to the baby is extremely minimal.
But the mother has to keep taking the aids in pregnancy medicine because there is still a chance that the virus can pass on to the baby through breast feeding.