Q and A


Why is my husband HIV negative when I am pregnant and HIV positive?

Hi , I am 36, married, and pregnant and have just found out that I am HIV positive, with CD4 of 239.

My question is I never get sick or have any symptoms that I am infected, so now I am worried that I maybe too late to start treatment, because they told me that I need to start when my CD4 count is about 350.

My mind still adjusting to the news cos its only weeks find out I am positive but I have the reason to live that is why I accept that life goes on, its the matter of changing lifestyle and live good healthy life style.

My other worry is that my husband tested 6 months ago and he said he tested negative, checking from that time do you think he lied to me about his result because now I six month pregnant and positive. Is it possible to check when I became HIV positive?


Thank you for your question.

As you asked a number of questions, I will respond to them one at a time.

Firstly, congratulations on your pregnancy.

Although it might be difficult to learn you are HIV positive, it is much better that you found out now. Earlier is always better both for your health and for your baby. You are also right in taking a positive attitude about your life.

Even though your CD4 count is less than 350, you will still get a good response to HIV treatment (ART). The meds will help get you CD4 count become higher again and will protect the baby from HIV. The meds will also protect your husband from HIV in the future. Also, since 2015, ART is recommended for everyone, even at CD4 counts above 500.

Starting ART is important, so that your viral load can become undetectable when your baby is due to be born. This is because having an undetectable viral load is the best way for your baby to be HIV negative.

This guide to HIV and pregnancy has lots more information.

If your husband was HIV positive 6 months ago, it might be good for him to test again now. There is a small chance that he might have recently become HIV positive but that the test didn’t work. He might also really be HIV negative and has just continued to be lucky.

There are many couples were one partner is HIV positive, and the other is HIV negative, even when they haven’t been using condoms. Please follow this link for more information on such cases.

More information on sero-different couples (where one partner is HIV positive and the other is negative) is at this link. The answers to Q 5, 6 and 9 at this link might also help:

Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy and please let us know if we can help further or again in the future.

Note: This answer was updated in January 2018 and July 2016 from a question first posted online in November 2011.


  1. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Anna,

    Can I just confirm, are you saying that you’re negative and her partner is positive? Or, are you saying that you’re both living with HIV?
    If it’s your partner that’s positive, is he using medication? If you’re positive, are you taking ARVs? If you can answer these questions I’ll be able to give you some more info, info that will help with your question about your baby.

  2. Anna

    Hi am 29 years old and my and I have HIV positive partner we are dating for 3 years now and we never used condoms am always tested negative now we have a 5days old baby boy…its possible for my baby to be positive

  3. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Asiphe,

    If you think this might be a false positive, please have another test. If possible please ask to have a viral load as well as a CD4 count test.

  4. Asiphe

    I tested positive last week but last month on the 18 of January when I tested my results came negative….and my partner tested negative is that possible

  5. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Jan,

    PrEP is a preventive ARV, it’s not what you’d take if you’d had a risk. That would be PEP and that would need to be taken with 72hrs of a possible risk. The only reason you’d need PrEP was if you were having sex with your girlfriend without a condom. However, given that her diagnoses isn’t something that I’d recommended. For more info about PrEP and PEP, please see here: http://i-base.info/pep-and-prep/

  6. Jan

    Hi my girlfriend tested positive n i tested negative i went to the doctor a week aftr she tested positive they gave me prep m i late or am safe

  7. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Harry,

    First, congratulations on the news that you’re going to be a father. But is there a reason you think you might be HIV positive?

    Please let us know more.


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