Guide to HIV, Pregnancy and Women's Health: Protecting and Ensuring the Mother's Health
Your own health and your own treatment are the most important things to consider for ensuring a healthy baby.
This cannot be stressed enough.
Sometimes medical research can forget the fact that HIV positive pregnant women are people who need care for their own HIV.
This can sometimes be neglected or forgotten by mothers and healthcare workers when the baby's health is the main focus. You should not forget this. Your health and care are very important.
Overall, your treatment should be largely the same as if you were not pregnant.
Prevention of transmission and the health of your baby have a direct link to your own care.
Prenatal counselling for HIV positive woman should always include:
- Advice and discussion about how to prevent vertical transmission
- Information about treating the mother's own HIV now.
- Information about treating the mother's HIV in the future.
Your child is certainly going to want you to be well and healthy as he or she grows up. And you will want to be able to watch him or her go to school and become an adult. A healthy mother is vital for the health of a child.
- A mother should be able to make informed choices about how to manage her pregnancy.
- She should be able to choose her treatment during the pregnancy.
- Healthcare workers should provide information, education and counselling that is impartial, supportive and non-judgemental.
- HIV should be intensively monitored during pregnancy. This is particularly important as the time of delivery approaches.
- Opportunistic infections should be treated appropriately.
- Antiretroviral drugs should be used to reduce viral load to undetectable levels.
- Mothers should be treated in the best way to protect them from developing resistance to antiretroviral drugs.
- Mothers should be able to make informed choices regarding how and when their babies will be born.
Regardless of pregnancy, women should receive optimal treatment for their HIV status.
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