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Is it OK to take HIV treatment during pregnancy?

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If you were diagnosed before becoming pregnant, you’re most likely already taking antiretroviral medication. If you’ve just been diagnosed and are not yet on HIV treatment, you’ll be advised to start it straight away, just as you would if you weren’t pregnant.

Your doctor will advise you on what treatment you should take, as some drugs are safer than others. After the baby is born, you can talk to your doctor about whether you need to change your treatment or not.

The drug recommendations for women who have been diagnosed later on in their pregnancy are slightly different from what’s usually recommended.

Are antiretrovirals safe for my baby?

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Research suggests that anti-HIV drugs are safe to use in pregnancy.

There may be a slightly increased risk of giving birth prematurely or having a low birth-weight baby. However, other research suggests antiretrovirals don’t contribute to premature births.

The benefits antiretrovirals have in preventing mother-to-baby transmission outweigh the risks of not taking them.