Preventing mother-to-child transmission

I found out about my HIV status when I was 16 weeks pregnant. After I had an HIV test, I had counselling with the midwife. I told her of feeling utter disbelief about my situation and fear of how I was going to break the news to my partner. Yet, when I finally told my partner, he turned out to be understanding and supportive. I also encouraged him to take an HIV test, and he agreed, and fortunately he was negative. Since that time we have practised safe sex.

At the same time, I told my HIV doctor and my midwife that I accepted their advice to start on early HIV treatment because I wanted to minimise the risk of infecting my unborn baby. The midwife told me that it is best if you don't breastfeed and that if you want you can have a caesarean section. I agreed with this, as by doing so you can greatly reduce the risk of infecting the baby. I also told my HIV doctor that I wanted my baby, when it was born, to take the anti-HIV medicine, AZT. Fortunately, I had a very healthy baby at the end.

I think that it is very important for pregnant African women to take an HIV test and if found positive, to start early treatment and accept other medical interventions which can help protect your unborn baby from HIV. My little girl is now four and a half years old and she is negative. Thank God for that.

This story was first published on the Positively UK website. Thanks to Positively UK for giving permission to reproduce it here.

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Finding out

By Mr Turbulence

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This story was first published on the Positively UK website. Thanks to Positively UK for giving permission to reproduce it here.

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