What do I do if I'm HIV positive and find out I am pregnant?

Pregnancy is a big deal, and it means your life will change a lot. When you're HIV positive, there are extra things to think about to protect you and your child’s health.

Pregnancy puts extra stress on your body. You'll have to be even more careful about staying healthy. If you think you are pregnant go straight to see your doctor or nurse, and if you are not seeing a doctor or nurse regularly, make an appointment to be seen at least once a month.

When you are pregnant you can't take many medicines, because some medicines go straight to your baby and could harm them. So be really careful and ask your nurse and doctor, which medicines are okay to take while you're pregnant. Take vitamins and eat fresh, healthy food. Remember – what you eat, your baby eats too!

The sooner in your pregnancy you start taking antiretroviral medications (ARVs), the better they work to keep you healthy and protect your baby from HIV infection. If you're already taking ARVs, don't stop – your nurse or doctor will advise you if you need to change anything. It might feel hard to take these meds sometimes, and you may have some side effects, but it's so worth it to keep you and baby well.

Breastfeeding may also put your baby at risk– make sure you keep taking your ARVs all through breastfeeding and for the rest of your life. If you take care of yourself during your pregnancy you will be healthy and you can have a healthy baby.

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