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, have a suppressed viral load , and give HIV preventive medicine to your baby after giving birth, the chances of transmitting HIV to your baby are less than 1%.
  • After delivery, you can prevent transmitting HIV to your baby by feeding your infant with properly prepared formula or pasteurized donor human milk from a milk bank. These are recommended if you have a detectable viral load.
  • If you have undetectable viral load during pregnancy and you wish to breast/chestfeed, you can discuss this with your provider and make a plan together on the best way to breast/chestfeed safely. Taking HIV medicine and maintaining an undetectable viral load during pregnancy, labor and delivery and while breast/chestfeeding reduces the chances of transmission through breastfeeding to less than 1% .
  • If your partner has HIV, encourage your partner to get and stay on treatment. This will 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 will not transmit HIV to their sex partner.

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