All pregnant women receive antenatal care – if you’re living with HIV you’ll get extra support to make sure you’re well and that the risk of your baby being born with HIV is radically reduced.
Your healthcare team will play a key role in helping you stay well while you are pregnant, and in preventing your baby from being infected with HIV. Developing a good relationship with members of the team is a very important part of getting the best possible care.
There are many HIV support agencies which can provide information, advice and assistance to you at any point. To find out what’s available near you, a good place to start would be browsing our Service Finder or calling our national helpline THT Direct on 0808 802 1221.
You could also talk to one of the professionals you are currently receiving HIV services from. That might be someone at your HIV clinic - such as a doctor, health adviser or nurse - a social worker, or an advice worker.
Many women only discover they have HIV soon after they find out they are pregnant, because an HIV test is part of the routine care for all pregnant women.
Knowing you have HIV will allow you to take steps to look after your health and protect your baby, but it can be an overwhelming time. There can be mixed feelings, lots of new information to take on board and you'll need to start treatment straight away.
Spend time talking things over with a doctor, nurse, midwife or someone from an HIV organisation. Hopefully you may also be able to talk to other women who have been in a similar situation. Feel free to ask lots of questions (and make sure they get answered).
If you are diagnosed with HIV while pregnant then you may need emotional support in coping with your diagnosis and information about transmission and treatments.
Talking to other women living with HIV who have had a baby can help you make decisions about pregnancy, birth and looking after your baby’s health.
You can also talk to our online counsellor.
Next: Antenatal care ››
‹‹ Back to: Preventing mother-to-baby transmission (PMTCT)
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This article was last reviewed on
by Anna Peters
Date due for the next review: 28/6/2020
Content Author: S. Corkery, NAM
Current Owner: Kerri Virani
Screening for HIV, syphilis and hepatitis B, NHS Choices, Feb 2015
I’m pregnant, when should I start ART?, Lisa Thorley, i-Base, April 2017
Pregnancy and birth, NAM Aidsmap, July 2014
How likely is mother to child transmission?, NAM Aidsmap
New British guidelines recommend treatment for everyone with HIV by Keith Alcorn, 24 June 2015, NAM
de Ruiter A et al. Guidelines for the management of HIV infection in pregnant women 2012 (updated May 2014) BHIVA, 2014
Various people talk about their experiences of living with HIV.
CAB - Citizens Advice Bureau
HIV Drug Interactions
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Equality and Human Rights Commission
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