HIV TESTING AND PREVENTION DURING PREGNANCY
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends that every pregnant woman be tested for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as a routine part of prenatal care. The HIV test is not mandatory – any woman would have the right to refuse testing. Even if you feel that you are not at risk for HIV, if you are thinking of getting pregnant or are already pregnant, you should ask your doctor about getting an HIV test. If the test is positive, medications are available that reduce the risk of giving the virus to your baby.
HIV Rapid testing is the simpliest and quickest way to test for HIV. With Rapid testing, you can know your HIV status with one visit instead of waiting for a few weeks. The test is over 99% accurate. Free and low cost testing clinics are located through the state.
Ways to Prevent HIV Infection
You can get HIV three ways: through having sex with an infected person (oral, anal or vaginal), blood-to-blood (sharing needles), and from an infected mother to her child. You can reduce your risk of getting HIV by not having sex, by having sex with one uninfected partner who is only having sex with you, or by always using male or female condoms when having sex.
Do not share needles for any purpose, including body piercing, tattoos, vitamins, steroids or drugs. If you test positive for HIV, you can decrease the risk of giving it to your baby by taking antiretroviral medication during your pregnancy. Your baby will also receive medication for the first six weeks after birth. If you test HIV positive, you should also avoid breastfeeding as breast milk can also transmit the virus.