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hiv+ and plan pregnancy
Nov 23, 2010

Hi there!

My viral load is 9069 and my cd4 is 550. I am not yet taking medication as my doctor says my cd4 is still good. However i plan to have a baby, am therefore worried about the viral load n the possibility of passing the virus to my unborn as soon as i conceive. what should i do?

Response from Dr. McGowan

It is definitely possible to have a perfectly healthy baby even if you have HIV. This has been one area that we have made great strides. First, it is important for you to have pre-conception counseling BEFORE you get pregnant. Meeting with an experienced Obstetrician is very important. S/he will be sure you have all the vaccinations, vitamins, diet tips and other screenings that you will need to prepare for a healthy pregnancy. It is alos important for you to discuss how you will conceive with your HIV and OB provider. If your partner is HIV negative then artificial insemination may be an option. Next the proper timing of your HIV medication is important. The level of your HIV viral load is the single most important factor determining the risk of transmitting virus to your baby. Most of the risk comes at the time of delivery, but some transmission happens earlier during pregnancy through the placenta. One option is to wait till after the first trimester (10-14 weeks) to lessen the exposure of medication to the fetus during organ formation. Some women may elect to start pre-conception. The recommendaed treatment (as long as your virus tests susceptible and you have no medical reason against it, such as anemia) would be combivir and Kaletra. But other options are possible. You should discuss this with your medical provider and work together to decide on the best plan for you.

Best of luck,

Joe



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