In the United States, approximately 6,000 HIV positive women give birth each year. Fortunately, with proper medical care, the transmission of HIV to infants has decreased to only 1-2 percent.
To reduce the chance of transmission to your new baby, typically an elective C-section will be scheduled before the onset of labor. You will also be instructed not to breastfeed because the breast milk could pass the virus on to your baby. Also, your baby will be given anti-retroviral medications for at least six weeks in an attempt to prevent the spread of infection. Your baby will be monitored over the next several months with blood testing to test for the presence of HIV.
Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, August 2019