Is it ok if I get pregnant now that my CD4 count is 220?

Question

I am HIV+ and I want a child seriouly. I have been on ARV for One and a half years. When I started ARV my cd4 count was 124 and now it is 220. If I decide to get pregnant, will my clinical health be affected and become weak because of my low CD4 count which is 220. My partner is also HIV+ his CD4 count is 449. Please advise.

Answer

The decision about having a baby is an important and complicated matter. The first concern is whether your health would be harmed by having a baby. Most studies and experience has shown that women receiving effective HIV therapy do well with pregnancy with no major negative impact on their HIV status. The second major concern is the risk for vertical transmission (mother to baby) which is generally linked to the HIV level in the blood and how well the pregnancy goes. If you HIV level is undetectable then the chances for transmission to the baby may be less then 1%. There is also concern about whether your partner could transmit another strain of HIV (including concern about a drug resistant strain) to you when trying to get pregnant. Your HIV provider should be able to review the details in your case and outline the risk and benefits of a pregnancy and offer support whatever your decision is. KH