Is it really safe to take HIV medicines during pregnancy?

Yes. Reducing the risk of a baby becoming HIV positive was an early benefit of HIV drugs. Although pregnant women are often advised against taking many medicines, this is not the case with HIV drugs.

Thousands of women have taken these drugs all over the world without any complications. This has resulted in many healthy HIV negative babies.

This registry has not seen any increase in the type or rate of birth defects in babies whose mothers have been treated with currently used ART. These rates are similar to those for babies born to mothers who did not take these drugs.

You and your doctor will talk about your treatment during your antenatal discussions.

Your healthcare team has access to an international birth defect registry. This has tracked birth defects in babies exposed to antiretroviral drugs for over 25 years. The reports are online:

When most of everything felt right, my health and relationship, having a baby, after more than 20 years since my last child, was the best feeling. After discussions with my partner and my doctor, I decided to have a baby. We did this while continuing with my current meds and of course not breastfeeding.

I was determined to do everything in my power to have an HIV negative baby. ART has fulfilled my dreams of becoming a mother again.

Jenny, London

Last updated: 1 December 2015.