It is important to know that the cause of AIDS is the HIV virus which is not treated properly, so it develops into AIDS. This disease is included in the very dangerous category because it can attack the immune system.
Even though living with HIV/AIDS may feel difficult, that doesn't mean it is the end of everything. Thanks to advances in medical science and technology, sufferers can now live lives of the same quality as healthy people. This also applies to female sufferers.
With careful planning, those living with HIV/AIDS have the opportunity to get pregnant, give birth, and have healthy children without contracting the disease. If you and your partner are considering planning a pregnancy but are faced with HIV problems, check out the following for useful guidance.
Planning a Pregnancy for HIV Sufferers
Choosing to start the pregnancy journey is a big step, especially for women living with HIV or who have a male partner who also has HIV. Planning a pregnancy under these conditions requires additional considerations.
If you are in this situation, it is highly recommended to seek the advice of health professionals and obtain as much information as possible before making the decision to become pregnant. Discussing with a doctor or counselor who has experience in this matter can be very helpful.
It is important for individuals living with HIV to inform their doctor, obstetrician, or midwife early when planning a pregnancy, even if the decision to become pregnant is still under consideration. Sharing this information with a healthcare professional can help you address any concerns that may arise, and also ensure that you receive care appropriate to your needs, so that you can have a safe pregnancy and take good care of your baby after birth.
Can Mothers with HIV/AIDS give birth normally?
So that the birthing process for women suffering from HIV/AIDS can take place safely and optimally for the mother and baby, the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia has issued a regulation stating that mothers can give birth normally by fulfilling the following requirements:
- Mothers who have HIV must undergo ART (antiretroviral therapy) therapy for at least six months during pregnancy.
- At the 36th week of pregnancy, a viral load test is carried out to measure the amount of HIV virus in the blood. The examination results must be less than 1,000 copies/mm3.
By fulfilling the two conditions above, the risk of HIV transmission from mother to baby can be minimized, thereby allowing a normal delivery process. However, if one or both of these conditions are not met, it is more advisable for pregnant women to undergo a caesarean section.
It doesn't stop there, efforts to prevent HIV transmission from mother to baby are also carried out after the baby is born. Babies need to receive ART therapy for several weeks to prevent HIV infection.
How to Prevent HIV Transmission to the Fetus
By following preventive measures according to doctor's instructions, the risk of HIV transmission from mother to baby can be minimized to 1%. On the other hand, without treatment, HIV-positive pregnant women have between 5-25% chance of transmitting the virus to their babies. There are several steps you can take to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV:
- Consult with an obstetrician to determine the most appropriate delivery method, whether by caesarean section or normal delivery.
- Undergoing combination antiretroviral therapy or HAART (highly active antiretroviral therapy) during pregnancy.
- Do not give breast milk to the baby.
- Doctors will also give antiretroviral drugs to babies born to mothers with HIV positive status to prevent HIV transmission.
That's a guide to planning a pregnancy for HIV sufferers. If you and your partner are in this condition, it is very important to regularly check your HIV status.