Human immunodeficiency virus or HIV is a virus that causes Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS. This virus breaks down the immune system and makes the infected prone to infections and many complications. It could happen that someone is infected with HIV but does not have AIDS. You are HIV positive when the virus gets detected in your blood. But only when the symptom shows and the immune system starts to break down will you have AIDS.
Symptoms of HIV/AIDS
Many would not face any symptoms at all when being infected with HIV. Others could complain of symptoms similar to flu in the first weeks of being infected. This includes headache, fever, fatigue, swollen glands and achenes. This could not be very significant in the beginning.
How does HIV/AIDS affect pregnancy?
HIV in most cases does not cross the placenta and does not reach the baby. If the mother is healthy then the placenta offers the required protection.
However, if the mother has some in-uterine infection, a recent HIV infection, malnutrition or advanced HIV infection then the placenta may not be very protective in stopping the spread of the disease.
The woman will be given medication and counseling about how to be on a healthy diet and prevent any iron or calcium deficiency.
The doctor will watch for symptoms of AIDS and any complications in pregnancy because of HIV infection.
What are the chances that the baby could be HIV positive
The baby could become HIV positive in the mother’s womb, at the time of delivery or even when it is being breastfed. The mother needs to undergo a treatment else the chances of the baby getting infected with HIV is high. Treatment reduces the chances of the baby getting infected with the virus.
HIV – Effect on the health of the pregnant woman and the baby
If you are HIV positive then the provider will try to protect your health and also prevent the baby from being HIV infected. If proper treatment is given then the chances of your baby having HIV is very low.
Your doctor will ask you to:
- Take an HIV medication during your pregnancy and during labour
- Opt for a c-section if the HIV level in the blood is at an unsafe level during the end of the pregnancy
- To not breastfeed the baby
- The baby will have to go through an antiretroviral treatment until it is sure that the baby is not HIV infected
The HIV pregnancy cases today are managed very well and this has prevented the disease from spreading to the babies in many instances. If women are tested for HIV before they conceive or in the early stages of pregnancy then the treatment would be started soon and would also be very effective.
The mother is at a risk of many life-threatening infections. She is prone to benign and malignant cancers and this affects her pregnancy. Complications related to pregnancy like pre-term labor, diabetes, and hypertension are common in women who are HIV positive.
The baby could be infected if the mother is HIV positive. The infection can be transmitted to the baby and the condition is life-threatening. It could affect the bodily functions of the baby.
(Any health-related information or any medical opinion in the Pregnancy news is gathered from secondary sources to give relative and informative enlightenment. The opinions expressed here are the views of the source and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Healtheoz.)