It is very rare for a woman in the UK to pass on HIV to her child during pregnancy or birth.
Many women have had babies who are HIV negative when the mother was living with HIV. Less than one baby in a hundred contracts HIV during pregnancy, which means that over 99% of babies who are delivered to women living with HIV in the UK are born HIV-free. Medical help is readily available for all HIV positive mothers-to-be and you should speak to your HIV consultant if you are planning to have a baby.
If the mother is not on HIV medication when pregnant, anti-HIV drugs will be given to help protect the baby during pregnancy. Sometimes the baby is delivered by Caesarean section, but in some cases it may be possible to deliver the baby naturally.
FOLLOWING THE BIRTH
Following the birth of the child, the baby will also be given anti-HIV medication for a period of time which offers extra protection. It is strongly advised that the mother does not breastfeed the baby as HIV is present in breast milk.
If you would like to discuss pregnancy or childbirth in more detail before doing so with your HIV consultant, book an appointment with a George House Trust adviser either by telephone or securely online.