Frequently Asked Questions When Pregnant Women Get Hiv

What is HIV?
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).
How does HIV get into the body?
HIV enters the bloodstream through body fluids such as blood or semen. Once penetrated into the bloodstream, the virus attacks CD4 cells. CD4 cells are important cells of the immune system. Once these cells are destroyed, the body's ability to fight off disease decreases.
AIDS happens when?
AIDS begins when CD4 cell count drops to a certain level. At that time, the body will suffer from diseases that the immune system normally can fight. These diseases include: pneumonia, certain cancers and infections


How long does it take to get from HIV infection to AIDS?
It can take months to years from HIV infection to AIDS manifestations.


Frequently Asked Questions When Pregnant Women Get Hiv

Unless tested, a person may not know that he or she is infected with HIV until the onset of illness.
Can HIV be cured?
It is possible to control HIV but it cannot be completely cured. Taking anti-HIV medications can help people who live with the virus live longer and reduce the ability to pass the virus to others. There is no vaccine against HIV.
If a woman is infected with HIV, can she pass it on to the baby?
HIV can be transmitted from mother to child through the following ways:
During pregnancy, HIV can be passed from mother to child through the placenta.
During the birth, the baby may be infected by contact with the mother's blood and other fluids. When the amniotic sac breaks, the chance of passing the virus from mother to child also increases
Most babies who get HIV from their mothers during the birth process.


Frequently Asked Questions When Pregnant Women Get Hiv


Breast milk can also pass the virus to your baby.
How to reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV?
Ask your doctor to decide on measures to reduce the chance of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. The following measures are available:
Use anti-HIV medication during pregnancy
If the level of HIV is high, then decide to have a caesarean
Take anti-HIV medication during labor and delivery if needed
Give your baby anti-HIV medicine after birth
Do not breastfeed your baby
Using these measures, 99% of HIV-infected mothers will not transmit HIV to their babies.
Why should HIV be treated during pregnancy?
Treatment of HIV during pregnancy has two purposes:
To protect the health of the mother herself
To avoid passing HIV to children.
Many drugs used at the same time to treat HIV are called "regimen". Anti-HIV medications are used to reduce the amount of virus present in the body.
Do HIV medications have side effects?
HIV medications can have side effects. Common side effects include: nausea, diarrhea, headache and muscle aches.


Frequently Asked Questions When Pregnant Women Get Hiv

Some of the less common side effects include: anemia, liver damage and some bone conditions like osteoporosis. Although very rare, HIV medications can affect fetal development. However, if not used drugs, the ability to transmit HIV from mother to child will greatly increase.
What is the viral load?
The viral load is the amount of virus present in the body.
Why monitor viral load and CD4 cell count in the body?
High viral load along with low CD4 cell count means a high possibility of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and a high chance of the mother starting to fall ill. However, even if the viral load is low, it is still possible to transmit HIV from mother to child.
Should condoms be used even while pregnant?
If your partner or partner is also infected with HIV, using a condom can help both people avoid further infections. If your partner or partner is not infected with HIV, in addition to condoms, additional medications should be used to reduce the chance of transmission.


Frequently Asked Questions When Pregnant Women Get Hiv


Are there any other risks for pregnant women with HIV infection and cesarean delivery?
HIV-positive pregnant women may have an increased risk of cesarean delivery. Women with low CD4 cells have a weaker immune system than normal people, so the likelihood of postoperative infection will be higher. The incision may take longer to heal. Anti-inflammatory medications will be indicated during caesarean section.
After giving birth, how do you know if your baby has HIV?
If the mother is HIV positive, she will be tested for HIV several times in the first few months. The test will check to see if the baby's blood contains the virus. If two of these tests are positive, it means the baby has been infected with HIV. If two of these tests are negative, the baby is not infected.


Frequently Asked Questions When Pregnant Women Get Hiv

When your baby is 12-18 months, they will be tested again.
Interpretation of terms
Osteoporosis: is the case when the bones become weak and fragile.
Immune system: is the body's natural defense system against foreign bodies and foreign organisms.
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS): is a group of signs and symptoms, usually a serious infection, which occurs when the immune system is compromised due to human immunodeficiency virus infection ( HIV).
Placenta: is the organ that nourishes the fetus and helps eliminate waste from the fetus.
Caesarean: is a process of giving birth by cutting the abdomen and uterus of the fish.

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