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What Did You Expect While You Were Expecting?

Birth Mamas Share Lessons From Their Positive Pregnancies

September 19, 2012


Janine Brignola

Janine Brignola, Omaha, Neb., Diagnosed in 2006; Mom of Frederick, age 5

I would say the one thing that I didn't know when I was pregnant -- or that I found out to be true while I was pregnant, since I was diagnosed positive at approximately three months -- is that you can totally have a baby if you have HIV and not pass it to the baby.

I was so naive before about the virus. The strongest, most sincere emotion I dealt with during my pregnancy was guilt, thinking I had slept with the wrong person and because of my choice my baby would be born with HIV and have no chance at a normal life. Well now I know much differently: My son is 5 and HIV negative; I know a lot of people who were born with HIV that have normal lives; and NO ONE should be denied access to the medications that prevent passing the virus!

It just isn't the right thing, no matter what the bottom line is, because there is medication to prevent passing the virus to your baby; there's no excuse to not make it accessible.

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