Q and A

Question

Do I need to take ARVs and TB medication when pregnant?

I am 4months pregnant and HIV +. I started taking treatment last month (October ) with a CD4 count 311. I recently went for my second appointment for my treatment and they gave me TB treatment at the clinic without checking me. I’m not sick or having any signs of TB they just said it is to prevent TB from occurring.
So my question is will I have TB if i’m not taking the treatment with the Vitamin B6. I’ m already taking ARVS and having side effects. I don’t know my viral load yet. My concern is the baby ,will my baby be at risk if I don’t take the TB treatment or should I consult a doctor insisted of a clinic .

I was reading some of the stories on your website and they helped me a lot with dealing with HIV. I read them every day, but now I’m scared that I have to take TB treatment without being sick.

Answer

The TB meds are to protect you and your baby from TB. The meds are good to take if the clinic recommended them.
Please ask your clinic to explain this aspect of your treatment. When the risk of TB is high these protective meds are commonly used. It might mean you came into contact with TB as a child. The meds with reduce the risk that TB becomes active again now.
 
Most side effects get easier. If they are too difficult, please talk to a doctor at the clinic. Good luck with everything.
 

10 comments

  1. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Mk,

    First, congratulations on the news that you and your wife are going to have a baby.

    However it’s important that your wife’s treatment is discussed with the doctor. Treating HIV and TB can be complex. So, the doctor can give advice about the best way to take the HIV and TB meds.

    And as your wife is pregnant it’s important that the doctor checks her viral load. The aim of ARVs is to try and get viral load to undetectable before she gives birth.

    For much more info, here’s the guide to HIV pregnancy and women’s health.

  2. Mk

    Hello my wife is 8 months pregnant and she has stated taking ARVs and anti TB drugs are the same tables taken the same time with ARVs? Kindlly answer me.

  3. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Lerato,

    This is something that you’ll need to talk to your doctor about. They will be able to advice you.

  4. Lerato

    I gave birth in October 2018,i was taking tb prevention even though I did not have tb, but I then stopped in November, I’m hiv positive do I still need the tb prevention even though, I’ve given birth, n don’t have tb

  5. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Portia,

    TB meds are often given to people who are positive as a precaution, this is if they live in a TB prone area. However this should be discussed with you when you are in clinic. Have you started medication for the HIV?

  6. Portia

    I tested hiv positiv so i need to know tht do i hv to take tb treatment even if i do not have tb?

  7. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Emily,

    Treatment will work at any CD4 count. And many people have recovered with CD4 counts around 60.

    However the lower it goes below 200, then greater the risk of other infections. But it’s good that your doctor has given you treatment for TB. TB can be a serious infection if not treated. It’s important to talk to your doctor about how your treatment is going because HIV and TB can be complex to treat.

  8. Emily

    M taking VitaminB6 and TB Tablets as well as Arvs my CD4 count is 60 my worried is will i pick up frm the cd4? by taking my meds ill be fine?please do help its only 2 days ive started with the treat ment.

  9. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Deekay,

    If this is the case, you’ll need to talk to your doctor and ask them why you are being given TB meds.

  10. Deekay

    thank you for the answer but I never had TB before or be in contact with it ,they didn’t check me they just gave them to me .

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