hiv + and don't know how

Question

Dear doctor,

my girl friend just went to the doctor for her pregnancy check up and the doc informed her that her blood work up showed a hiv+. I have several questions:

  1. How can she be HIV+ and I'm negative and we have been seeing each other exclusively for about a year. She had check up before and never showed hiv positive. I don't believe she has cheated on me and I haven't on her. But could this had come from a relationship she had years before me.

  2. We are five months pregnant and I want to know could this be passed to the baby during this time. An what can we do to prevent it.

  3. She is going threw a very bad time right know and I want to know what I can do to help her. I love her and I'm going to be here for her no matter what the case. But what can I do and should I continue to get myself tested?

Doc any advice you can give would be appreciated.

Answer

First, she should make sure the confirmatory test was also positive -- sometimes the screening test (ELISA) is falsely positive. If she is indeed positive, she should be managed by a high-risk obstetrician and she should discuss starting on HIV medicine now with a doctor experienced in HIV disease in women. She needs to find out how much damage has been done already to her immune system, to see how urgent it is that she be treated for her own needs. Even if she isn't ready for that, she should discuss being treated from this point on to prevent transmission of HIV to the baby (which is a simpler medication regimen).

Your girlfriend was either HIV+ before you met her or has become HIV+ since then. If you love her, when she got it shouldn't matter, just that she takes good care of herself and the baby. You need to be tested again at the appropriate intervals to make sure that you are still negative. And if that's the case, you should practice safe sex from here on out so that you don't get HIV in the future.