I’ve been off meds for nearly 3 years, can I restart?
22 August 2019. Related: Adherence, All topics, Pregnancy, Starting treatment.
I’ve just found out that I’m pregnant. The issue is I’m not on medication and haven’t been for nearly three years. What can I do?
Thanks for getting in touch.
Sometimes, for complication reasons, some people stop their HIV medication. This is sometimes because older drugs were being used or because communication with the doctor was not good, perhaps over side effects.
However, without ART, HIV will continue to affect your immune system and so restarting meds is really important. If you are pregnant, then starting becomes much more urgent.
Please go back to your clinic to see your doctor, or nurse. They should take your viral load and CD4 count and also discuss what your treatment options. If might also be good to talk about why you stopped, so that this is not a problem again in the future.
You might be able to use the same meds that you were using before or you might need to use another combination. Either way, there will be a combination that works for you.
Returning to care may be daunting, but it really is the best option for you and your baby.
Not only will your health be better, but ART dramatically reduces the risk of HIV transmission to your baby. This is discussed in detail in the following guide: