Guides

If you have just been diagnosed with HIV

You might be reading this guide at a confusing time in your life. Finding out that you are pregnant or that you are HIV positive can each be overwhelming. It can be even more difficult if you find out about both at the same time.

I was diagnosed via antenatal testing when I was three months pregnant. What a time to receive bad news! I had a lot to think about and at the same time start treatment straight away.

The support I got from my group was invaluable in helping me appreciate the treatment and take it as prescribed. The thought of having a healthy baby made me determined to follow everything in detail.

I had a bouncing HIV negative baby boy thanks to ART.

Jo, London

Both pregnancy and HIV involve many new words and terms. We try to explain what these terms mean and how they might affect your life.

It is likely that even if things seem difficult now, they will get better and easier. It is important and reassuring to understand the great progress made in treating HIV. This is especially true for treatment in pregnancy.

There are lots of people, services and other sources of information
to help you. The advice that you receive might be different to that given to HIV negative women. This includes information on medication, caesarean section (C-section) and breastfeeding.

It is important to understand information about your health and choices. Here are some tips if it is not clear, or if you are confused or concerned:

  • Ask your doctor lots of questions. If there is something in this guide you don’t understand, take the booklet to your appointment. Your doctor can explain.
  • Take your partner or a friend with you to your appointments.
  • Talk to other HIV positive women who have had children.

Last updated: 1 December 2015.