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Is it risky to have a baby?
Feb 9, 2003

I have been positive for the last 26 months. My VL has been undetectable all this time and my cd4 now stand at 754.Am thinking of having a baby this year with the quidance of my doctor.my question is , what effect will this have on my progression and on my numbers?Do i proceed with my plans and realize my dream of having a baby.?

Response from Dr. Aberg

I am assuming you are have an undetectable HIV viral load on antiretroviral therapy. Many HIV infected women are having healthy pregnancies so HIV by itself is not a contra-indication to getting pregnant and having a baby. The risk of transmitting HIV to a baby when one has an undetectable HIV viral load at time of delivery is less than 1 percent. There is much interest in understanding what happens to a women's immune and virologic status during pregnancy and several studies are observing women but at this time, we have little information on knowing if pregnancy has any effects on progression of HIV disease. At this time, I am unaware of any data suggesting there are worse outcomes among women with HIV who get pregnant compared with those who have never been pregnant.

It is important that you seek care now with an obstetrician to discuss getting pregnant and having close monitoring during the pregnancy. It is imperative that you take your HIV medications throughout the duration of the pregnancy to maintain an undetectable HIV viral load. You are a step ahead of many individuals in the fact that your HIV viral load is already undetectable. You will need to have all the routine care that every pregnant women needs as well as additional visits with your HIV healthcare provider. You should also begin taking a prenatal vitamin if you are not doing so now.

I hope all your "dreams" come true!


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