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PrEP Safe For Pregnancy?

Aug 30, 2016

Hi Doctor,

I know that PreP has been shown in some studies to protect people from contracting HIV but so far we do not know if this pill has added benefits when the partner is already on antiretroviral and that they are undetectable.

Based on the information we do know so far, would you recommend someone who is trying to conceive naturally (husband is HIV+ but wife is not) to take PreP given that there might be no benefits of taking it if the husband is virally suppressed? I am concerned that the pill could harm the baby if conceived.

Response from Mr. Jacobs

This is a very important question that is really on the cutting edge of understanding medical options for both treating and preventing HIV. You seem to be aware of the fact that newer research trials have recently proved that "undetectable" with HIV for 6 months or more is equal to "uninfectious".

So does an HIV negative partner need to be on PrEP if her primary partner is HIV positive and undetectable? Ultimately, that is a decision that everyone must make for themselves, preferably with a healthcare professional who is aware of the science, as well as that person's personal circumstances.

To be clear, there is no research to suggest that Truvada as PrEP would be harmful to either the mother or the fetus. There are a handful of women who have discussed their use Truvada as PrEP to conceive with an HIV+ husband or partner, and all have given birth to healthy happy babies.

I'd encourage you to read a bit more about the information we have about HIV negative women naturally conceiving with HIV+ partners in this Aidsmap article. Some of these "PrEP Mommies" share their experiences on the Facebook PrEP Facts Group page.



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