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Spotlight Series: Pregnancy & HIV

September 19, 2012

Pregnancy and childbirth are two of the most challenging experiences a woman -- and her partner, if she has one -- can go through. Anticipating and then navigating this joyous, nerve-racking time while living with HIV can be daunting, but many families have done it before, as have many health providers. Read on for information, stories and advice that we hope will help you on your journey -- and stay tuned for new resources in this series through the end of 2012.

HIV Treatment, Prevention and Health Issues

Monica Gandhi, M.D., M.P.H.12 Questions About HIV Treatment and Care in Pregnancy
How has the treatment of pregnant women changed with the times, and with our increased understanding of how the virus works? And how do those changes translate into the lives and options of pregnant women living with HIV? We sat down with renowned HIV care provider and researcher Monica Gandhi, M.D., M.P.H., to drill deep down into the newest edition of the U.S. HIV treatment guidelines for women trying to have babies.
Nutrition and HIV for Moms-to-Be
Now that you're "eating for two," how do you do so in the healthiest way possible for you and your baby? Community-based dietitian and nutritionist Maya Feller walks you through some of the most important things to know about nutrition during your pregnancy.
The Well Project logoHIV and Getting Pregnant
There are several different options for lowering the chances of passing on HIV while trying to get pregnant. This detailed article from the Well Project outline the risks and benefits of each option to help you understand what might be best for you, and to prepare for discussions with your health care provider.
Having a Baby When You Have HIVHaving a Baby When You Have HIV
People living with HIV now have several options when it comes to pregnancy. Longtime HIV activist and writer Mark Milano of AIDS Community Research Initiative of America provides an overview of the latest wisdom on getting pregnant while living with HIV.

Perspectives and Conversations

babyHow PrEP Helped One HIV-Negative Woman Become a Mother
Poppy and Ted of San Francisco were ready to become parents -- even though Ted was HIV positive. After many disappointments, Poppy found pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Read about her journey.
babyHIV and Baby Makes Three Busts Pregnancy Myths With True Life Stories
When Heather Boerner found out that serodiscordant couples could have safe, condomless sex to conceive a child, she knew she had to share these couples' stories.
Shana Cozad, Angela Davey, Jessica Mardis and Rusti Miller-HillLet's Talk About Having Babies -- Before and After HIV/AIDS
What's it like being pregnant and living with HIV? Four HIV-positive moms from different parts of the United States gathered to chat about where they each sought support while pregnant, how they coped with the first uncertain weeks of their infants' lives, and much more.
mother and childCaring for HIV-Negative Kids (and Yourself) in an "HIV Family"
What happens after your baby is born? How do moms living with HIV deal with stigma and disclosure when it comes to their children -- and how do they stay mindful of taking care of themselves? Our four HIV-positive moms discuss these vital issues in part two of this two-part conversation.
Esmeralda, Lolisa, Melissa, AndreaWord on the Street: What Did You Expect While You Were Expecting?
Eight birth mamas share lessons learned from their HIV-positive pregnancies.
Teniecka DrakeTeniecka's Pregnancy Journal
Follow along as blogger Teniecka Drake recounts her fourth pregnancy while living with HIV, and as she and her family prepare for the new arrival.
  • March 5: The End of My Pregnancy Journey
    "It has been about four weeks since I gave birth to my beautiful angel. Her name is Matasha and she is just a cutie baby girl. I wanted to give as much information as possible on what happened before delivery, during delivery, and after."
  • Jan. 25: 37 Weeks -- Baby Coming in 4 Days!
    "I have chosen that this will be my very last child. I've opted to have a tubal ligation procedure done at the time of my C-section. For me it is a bittersweet moment."
  • Dec. 22: 31 Weeks Pregnant and Climbing
    "I did have an ultrasound in the very beginning of December. I finally know what I am having now. We are going to have another little girl!!!"
  • Oct. 22: Pregnancy at 23 Weeks!
    "The baby will be here in four months which is coming up pretty quickly. For me the pregnancy will be quick since I missed most of my first trimester not knowing I was pregnant."
  • Sept. 18: Expecting Number Four!
    "Of course, having gone through this three times previously I should know what to expect, right? Wrong!"
Rica Rodriguez and husbandPersonal Perspective: A Hope for Our Son, by Rica Rodriguez
"I was diagnosed with HIV when I was 13. ... When we decided to try and get pregnant, we chose to do it naturally." Rica Rodriguez gives a frank first-person account of her and her partner's journey during her pregnancy.
Rusti Miller-HillPregnant While Positive: My Husband, Me and Baby Made Three, by Rusti Miller-Hill
"After sitting in front of four different doctors, we found a team of docs that supported us from 10 weeks of pregnancy until today. We became a part of the ACTG 076 perinatal study. In 1995, my son was born. ... We held our breath as we waited for word from the CDC as to his HIV status ..."

Guides and General Information

Can HIV-Positive People Have Babies? (Infographic)Can HIV-Positive People Have Babies? (Infographic)
If you think that HIV-positive people can't have babies, then we have some news for you! HIV treatment is more effective than ever. Not only does it give people increasingly near-average life spans, but it also has the benefit of a radical drop in the likelihood of passing HIV between intimate partners and from mother to child. Don't let ancient medical reports and ignorance be your guides!
Guide to HIV, Pregnancy and Women's HealthGuide to HIV, Pregnancy and Women's Health
This booklet from HIV i-Base explains what to do if you are diagnosed with HIV in pregnancy. It also explains what to do if you already know you are HIV positive and decide to have a baby. It includes information about mothers' health, using antiretrovirals during pregnancy, the babies' health, how to have an HIV-negative baby if you are HIV positive and safe conception for couples where one partner is positive and one is negative.
Paying for Your Pregnancy: Resources for Expectant Moms Living With HIVPaying for Your Pregnancy: Resources for Expectant Moms Living With HIV in the U.S.
Along with the joys of pregnancy can come a lot of concerns, many of them having to do with money. In this article, Candace Y.A. Montague spotlights some valuable programs and resources you can use to help cover some of the food and health care costs of a healthy pregnancy.
frequently asked questionsFrequently Asked Questions About HIV & Pregnancy
Are you concerned about getting pregnant in the presence of HIV -- from planning to conceive safely to choices around testing and treatment for your newborn?'s experts have answered just about every pregnancy-related question under the sun, and we've gathered some of their most useful responses into this FAQ.
CATIE logoYou Can Have a Healthy Pregnancy if You Are HIV Positive
This booklet from the Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange, written by HIV-positive advocate Shari Margolese, is meant to help you make informed decisions about your health during pregnancy, as well as the health of your baby. It includes words of support and inspiration from HIV-positive women from across Canada.

This article was provided by
See Also
Becoming Pregnant When You're HIV Positive
Pregnancy & HIV/AIDS

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