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Pregnant and HIV+
May 18, 2012

I am 30 years old and four and a half months pregnant I just found out two months ago that I was HIV positive. My CD 4 count was 244 and they immediately started me on medication. It's my first baby and I spend sleepless nights worried sick about the baby getting infected. This really stresses me out and I have no one to talk to. I am scared to tell my mother about my status, though I know I will have to soon before I deliver. My partner has been supportive although I also worry about him since he has not done his CD4 test. I get so depressed that I just sleep the whole day. I wonder how long I have had the virus since my counts are so low. I am scared of dying but then I think of my baby and it keeps me going. If something happens to the baby I won't be able to cope.

Response from Dr. Fawcett

Thanks for writing. It is extremely important for both you and your child to be closely followed by physicians familiar with perinatal HIV. There are many steps that can be taken not only your care while pregnant, but also concerning type of delivery, counseling about care for your newborn (for example, risks of breast feeding), etc. Here is a link for National HIV/AIDS Clinician's Center Perinatal Hotline. This is designed for clinicians but your doctor may find it useful. Here is another resource about pregnancy and HIV from the AETC National Resource Center. This site contains helpful information for pregnant women with HIV that you might find useful.

Finally, I encourage your husband to get tested and, if necessary, onto treatment. You both need to stay healthy in order to care for your child and protect your entire family.

Take care,

-David



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