Prevent Mother-to-Child Transmission

Prevent Mother-to-Child Transmission

How can I prevent transmitting HIV to my baby?

Learn about your HIV risk and how to lower it.

Get Tested for HIV As Soon As Possible to Know Your Status

  • The earlier HIV is diagnosed and treated, the more effectively HIV medicine will prevent transmission to your baby.
  • If you or your partner engage in behaviors that put you at risk for HIV, get tested again in your third trimester.
  • You should also encourage your partner to get tested for HIV.
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Take Medicine to Prevent HIV if You Do Not Have HIV But Are at Risk

  • If you have a partner with HIV and are considering getting pregnant, talk to your health care provider about PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis).
  • PrEP may be an option to help protect you and your baby from getting HIV while you try to get pregnant, during pregnancy, or while breastfeeding.
  • Find out if PrEP is right for you.
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Take Medicine to Treat HIV

  • If you have HIV and take HIV medicine as prescribed throughout pregnancy and childbirth, and give HIV medicine to your baby for 4 to 6 weeks after giving birth, your risk of transmitting HIV to your baby can be 1% or less.
  • After delivery, you can prevent transmitting HIV to your baby by avoiding breastfeeding, since breast milk contains HIV.
  • If your partner has HIV, encourage your partner to get and stay on treatment. This will help prevent your partner from transmitting HIV to you. People with HIV who take HIV medicine as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to an HIV-negative partner through sex.

Learn more about what you can do if you are pregnant and have HIV.