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HEALTHIER YOU: HIV and Perinatal Transmission: Preventing Perinatal HIV Transmission

December 14, 2022 by  
Filed under Health

BY DR. ANNETTE MAYES, OB/GYN

DR. ANNETTE MAYES

T he month of December is World AIDS Observance month. As we celebrate the holidays, it is important that we are still protective with our sexual activities. HIV and AIDS within the Black community continues to be higher than any other community.

Despite overall progress in reducing HIV transmission in the United States, HIV continues to affect some groups more than others due to longstanding and ingrained barriers.

Black people account for a higher proportion of new HIV infections, compared to other races and ethnicities. Black people accounted for 13% of the U.S. population but 40% of people with HIV in 2019, according to CDC estimates. HIV disparities can and must end. Racism, longstanding systemic inequities, residential segregation, social and economic marginalization, and other ingrained barriers are among the factors that have contributed to these troubling and persistent disparities.

If you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, get tested for HIV as soon as possible. If you have HIV, the sooner you start treatment the better—for your health and your baby’s health, and to prevent transmitting HIV to your sex partner.

If you don’t have HIV, but your partner does, ask your health care provider about medicine to prevent HIV, called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). You can also talk to your health care provider about timing sex without a condom to consider with ovulation to reduce the chances of HIV transmission and increase likelihood of getting pregnant.

What you can do if you are pregnant and have HIV:

Visit your health care provider regularly.

Taking HIV treatment reduces the amount of HIV in the body (viral load) to a very low level. This is called viral suppression or an undetectable viral load.

Getting and keeping an undetectable viral load is the best thing you can do to stay healthy and prevent transmission to your baby

The risk of transmitting HIV to your baby can be 1% or less if you:

Take HIV treatment as prescribed throughout pregnancy and delivery.

Give HIV medicines to your baby for 4 to 6 weeks after birth.

For more information, call Las Vegas All Women’s Care at (702) 522-9640. Or visit us at 700 Shadow Lane #165 in Las Vegas.

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