The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
HIV/AIDS Resource Center for Women
Michelle Lopez Alora Gale Precious Jackson Nina Martinez Gracia Violeta Ross Quiroga Loreen Willenberg  
Michelle Alora Precious Nina Gracia Loreen  

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.

This article was provided by
See Also
HIV/AIDS Resource Center for Women
More on HIV & Pregnancy

Reader Comments:

Comment by: Sibongile (Port Elizabeth ) Thu., Dec. 20, 2012 at 12:12 pm UTC
I've just tested positive in my 3rd trmimester. My cd4 count is low, I have to start with arv treatment. I feel like the world is on my shoulders, and I fear I won't see my daughter grow up to be a young woman. I'm scared. I'm alone. I feel like dying.
Reply to this comment

Comment by: sasha (florida,Gutha) Fri., Nov. 23, 2012 at 6:10 pm UTC
I don't mean to sound harsh or insensitive to all of you ladies , maybe am just naive, but to those of you who knew you where HIV positive , why where you trying to get pregnant? and aren't you risking getting your partners infected also ?
Reply to this comment
Replies to this comment:
Comment by: Olivia (, NYC) Wed., Nov. 28, 2012 at 9:32 am UTC
Hi Sasha! Please read the articles in the Spotlight Series on Pregnancy and HIV to get answers to your questions and expand your knowledge on the topic. (or just click on the "Spotlight Series" banner at the top of this article)

With current, proper HIV treatment and care, women living with HIV (as all the women who spoke out in this piece are -- and all have HIV-negative babies) are *highly unlikely* (less than 1 percent likely) to transmit HIV to their babies. this has been the case for a while. With treatment, risk of transmitting HIV to a partner through unprotected sex is also radically reduced. Thanks for visiting, and happy reading!

Comment by: sabrina (tx) Tue., Nov. 13, 2012 at 5:17 pm UTC
So I got a call from drs office that my baby heartbeat is low 60 beats it should b in the 100s....I'm so nervous n scared. I believe I'm 8 wks....I have an apt in 2 wks for ultrasound to check up on heartbeat. should I concerned? Is it ok.
Reply to this comment

Comment by: Zuby (Florida) Fri., Nov. 9, 2012 at 1:46 pm UTC
I'm hiv possitive on treatment have 4 childrens which 2 are twins and I had lost triplets while ago. Now I have my 2year and 10months baby. But pregnat how dangerous can be for me. I'm married but my husband negative, and we never use protection for the last 12years
Reply to this comment

Comment by: Arleen (phila) Mon., Nov. 5, 2012 at 2:46 pm UTC
i`m sorry that you had aids but my kids father had aids and did not tell me tell he was full blown and it made me go to the hospital and got tested and came back negative so now sometimes i just go get tested my kids father died from aids thank god i did not get aids my kids father died in1996 it been 16 years now since he been dead so i feel like i been blessed thank you god for looking over me and keeping me safe just keep your head up and pray to god that your baby are safe i hope it help some one out .
Reply to this comment

Comment by: latetra (usa) Thu., Oct. 18, 2012 at 1:42 pm UTC
All I can say is that ya'll are some very strong women, I am HIV negative, I wouldn't know were to begin in life if I did I'm glad that there is a place for women who have HIV to talk & hear story from people that's been there done that GREAT WEB SITE!!
Reply to this comment

Comment by: gizaira (puerto rico) Thu., Oct. 18, 2012 at 1:09 pm UTC
Reply to this comment

Comment by: Amber (United States) Sat., Oct. 13, 2012 at 10:08 pm UTC
I'm glad that I don't have that mess. Thank GOD! I love you so much for not letting me contract HIV. People are dying slowly each & everyday from that crap and the thought of it is SCARY. I'm 20 weeks and two three day pregnant with a baby boy and I'm so glad that I don't have to go through that. I would be DEVASTATED If I gave him something.
Reply to this comment

Comment by: erick (tallahassee FLA ) Mon., Oct. 8, 2012 at 4:07 am UTC
U r a strong. Women always. Keep. God in he will keep. U
Reply to this comment

Comment by: jessica (baltimore) Thu., Oct. 4, 2012 at 6:35 pm UTC
Im pregnant
Reply to this comment

Comment by: sherrell m. (macon ms 39341) Mon., Sep. 24, 2012 at 10:00 pm UTC
its a girl... she will be here soon. lol
Reply to this comment

Comment by: Amanda (Salt Lake City, UT) Thu., Sep. 20, 2012 at 5:25 pm UTC
Thank you for doing this promo...

I am currently almost 25 weeks pregnant... HIV positive (2002).

Reading these stories was a breath of fresh air.
Reply to this comment

Comment by: Kathleen (United States) Wed., Sep. 19, 2012 at 2:25 pm UTC
I just read this and it makes me feel so much better! I worry every day of my baby being born with problems because of the medications. I was diagnosed in 1994 i was 4 years old, i got it from my mom which dies in 1995 she became resistant to all meds and ended up with AIDS. Maybe the fact that that happened to me is why i worry so much. I dont want my daughter to go through what ive gone through for sooo many years. I want her to be worry free and happy. Im glad i found this site i wish i can to to women that are going or already experienced through the same thing as myself. I am one happy preggo lol. And cant wait to meet my baby girl. :)
Reply to this comment

Add Your Comment:
(Please note: Your name and comment will be public, and may even show up in
Internet search results. Be careful when providing personal information! Before
adding your comment, please read's Comment Policy.)

Your Name:

Your Location:

(ex: San Francisco, CA)

Your Comment:

Characters remaining:

The content on this page is free of advertiser influence and was produced by our editorial team. See our advertising policy.

HIV Tools You Can Use