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so many questions
Jun 5, 2004

I just found out that i am HIV +, I am almost 8 months pregnant, I am so scared and I dont know what to do or who to talk to. I dont even know how to tell my husband. This is our 1st child we are both in our early 20's and i feel like our lives are over. I cant stop crying and i need some one to talk to to that could help answer my questions. I was so excited when i found out i was pregnant because i thought i was sterile, now i wish i wasnt becasue i am afraid i have passed this to my unborn child. My docs are going to start me on meds on 6-16-04 after they get a viral load and tcell count on me. I feel so alone and helpless i dont know where to turn... what are the chances that i have already passed this to my unborn child? Is it possible that he isnt positive? We have been together almost 3 years never used protection since we got married..... How do i tell him that I am HIV+? What will happen if my baby is hiv+? Is there any tests they can do now to see? Please respond to me please.

Response from Dr. Lee

No wonder you have so many questions. I am going to answer some of them as best I can without knowing your viral or t cell levels.

First, it is more likely that your child has not become infected. Even without treatment more than 70% of the children do not get HIV from their infected moms. Also, more of the transmissions occur during the delivery and you will probably be taking medicines to cut down on the amount of virus in your system before that. (Therefore further increasing the odds that your baby will be born healthy.) There are not any tests that will tell you now. But, even if your baby is hiv+ there are treatments for infants. The oldest child I delivered with an HIV+ mom is a teenager now and continues to do well.

Second, you should ask your doc about other women in your area, or women's groups that you can talk this through with. If there are none, contact WORLD (Women Organized to REspond to Life-threatening Disease). There are definitely folks there that you can correspond with who have been through this. They are probably better situated to help you decide how to approach telling your husband. Also, if you have a sister, mom or other close relative (or friend), talk it through with them first. He really ought to be tested.

I realize that this is all very scary and that you are unsure about what will come next. Your fears are partly intensified by all the unknowns that your doctors will be working to help you answer.

WORLD: 414 13th Street, 2nd floor Oakland CA 94612 phone: 510/986-0340 fax: 510/986-0341 email:

Be well.

Viral load and Pregnancy in HIV+ women
still worried.....

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