Quotes – pregnancy

All quotes were used in as part of the i-Base Introduction to ART.

i-Base would like to thank everyone for permission to include these.

“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

“I’ve often said that having an HIV diagnosis does not change who you are. Like many young women I had always wanted to be a mother. In some way, having a positive diagnosis made me think about it even more.

I had my baby five years after I was diagnosed. That was way back in 1998. I guess I was lucky in a lot of ways because by the time I made the decision to have a baby I’d had a lot of peer support, information and met a lot of other HIV positive women, who also had either been diagnosed antenatally, or had children after their diagnosis.

One of the most difficult things during and after my pregnancy was the uncertainty about whether – even taking up all the interventions that were available to me – my baby would be born HIV negative.

I cannot describe my feelings when I finally got the all clear for my beautiful baby. All the worry, fear and uncertainty were definitely worth the wait!”

– Angelina, London

“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. Combination therapy has fulfilled my dreams of becoming a mother again.”

– Jenny, London

“I am HIV positive. My partner is HIV negative.

We have two beautiful daughters. Both conceived naturally. Both, like their mum, are HIV negative

We initially considered sperm washing, but we would have needed to use artificial insemination. This was extremely expensive and involved travelling and giving my partner hormone injections.

This was not the way we wanted to have a baby.

We decided that the risk of transmission with someone who was undetectable for many years, extremely adherent and had no STIs was very low.

So we bought a cheap ovulation test and did it naturally… and it worked… twice!”

– Mauro, Italy

“I have lived with HIV for so long that I don’t remember what it’s like to live without it. I found it difficult to be HIV positive in the beginning. But once I learned to live with it, I decided to start living my life again.

I then realised I could do all the things that I thought HIV made impossible. I though I could not live over 25 years, or ever have a successful relationship or have children!

So last year I told my partner, who is HIV-negative, that I would love to have a child and he agreed.

We talked about how to achieve this and the possible options. We settled on the least complicated option – unprotected sex during my ovulation period. In a couple of months, I conceived!

My pregnancy was relatively easy. My obstetrician strongly advised that I go for a vaginal delivery as my CD4 was very good and my viral load undetectable.

My baby was tested for HIV a day after he was born. He has now had several negative results. He is now 6 months old and growing beautifully.

My partner remains HIV negative.”

– Millie, Bristol

“How does the cost of formula milk for a year compare to the cost of HIV treatment for life?

As an HIV positive mother, I would never put my baby at even the slightest risk of contracting HIV through my breast milk as I live in the UK where I can access clean water and formula milk.”

– Mem, London

Last updated: 1 April 2019.