Many people with HIV also have genital herpes. HIV positive women are more likely to experience a herpes outbreak during labour than negative women. Prophylaxis treatment for herpes with acyclovir is safe and is often recommended to reduce this risk.
Herpes is very easily transmitted from mother to child. Even with a viral load that is undetectable on ART, herpes sores contain high levels of HIV. The herpes virus can be released from the sores during labour. This will put the baby at risk from neonatal herpes.
Prophylaxis and treatment with acyclovir is safe to use during pregnancy.
Last updated: 1 December 2015.