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Treatment During Pregnancy

Pregnant women with HIV should take HIV medicines to reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and to protect their own health. If you become pregnant, visit your healthcare provider as soon as possible. If you have not previously been taking antiretroviral drugs (ARVs), when to start depends on several factors. Pregnant women who have a low CD4 cell count or symptoms of HIV infection may be advised to begin taking HIV medicines as early as possible in pregnancy. Pregnant women who have high CD4 counts and no symptoms of HIV infection may consider waiting until after the first trimester of pregnancy (12 weeks) to begin taking HIV medicines. 

If you are already on ARVs and become pregnant, talk to your healthcare provider immediately to make sure you are taking the safest ones. Pregnant women with HIV can safely use many HIV medicines during pregnancy. However, it may be necessary to change the dose of some HIV medicines during pregnancy. Together, you and your health care provider can carefully consider the benefits and risks of specific HIV medicines when choosing a regime to use during pregnancy.   

It is better to be treated with ARVs throughout your pregnancy, but you can still receive treatment even during labor and delivery. Be sure to tell the medical staff at the hospital or clinic where you go to deliver that you are HIV-positive. They can still give you treatment to protect your baby.