Keep your baby from getting HIV
It is very possible for an HIV-positive mother to have a healthy baby that is not
infected with HIV. When medicine is used correctly, an HIV-positive woman treated
early in her pregnancy now has a less than 2 percent chance of delivering a baby
with HIV. Without treatment, this risk is about 25 percent in the United States.
All women should be tested for HIV during their first prenatal care visit, early
in the pregnancy. Treatment, called
works best when it is used ppearly in pregnancy and when it is also given during labor
and delivery and to the infant after birth. A pregnant woman may be tested for HIV
again later in pregnancy if she is at high-risk. Starting treatment later in pregnancy,
during childbirth, and giving the newborn baby an anti-HIV drug after birth, can
also lower the risk of a mother passing HIV to her baby. If a mother is HIV-positive,
her doctor may also recommend delivering the baby by
A mother also can pass HIV to her baby through
breastfeeding. Women who are infected with HIV should not breastfeed. Instead,
give your baby formula or ask your doctor about getting human breast milk for your
baby from a milk bank. You can find a human milk bank through the Human Milk Banking Association of North
Keep your kids from getting HIV
Related information for girls from girlshealth.gov
It is a parent's job to teach kids how to protect themselves from HIV. You may think your child is not at risk. But according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) survey, about half of all U.S. high school students report having had sex at least once. Older students were more likely to have had sex. But one-third of all ninth graders also reported having had sex. Here are some facts about teens and HIV:
- More than 50 percent of all adolescents who are HIV-infected don't know it.
- Most adults with AIDS were likely infected with HIV when they were teens or young
- For young women ages 13–24, the most common way they get HIV is through
unprotected sex with males.
- Of sexually active high school students surveyed by the CDC, 38 percent did not
use a condom the last time they had sex. This put them at risk of getting HIV or
sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
- Two percent of high school students report having injected illegal drugs at least
- Delaying having sex for the first time can help reduce the chances of getting HIV.
Teens want good, solid advice on sexual issues from parents. That means you are
their best resource! Talking with your kids about HIV, AIDS, sex, and drug abuse
can be a tough task. Here are some tips to help you along the way:
- Bring up the topic with your child.
You could start talking about HIV when your child sees or hears a TV ad about HIV.
Ask, "Have you heard about HIV or AIDS before? What do you think HIV or AIDS is?"
This way, you can figure out what your child already understands and work from there.
- Give just the facts. Offer honest, correct information that's right
for the child's age and development. To an 8-year-old you might say, "AIDS is a
disease that makes people very sick. It's caused by a virus, called HIV, which is
a tiny germ." An older child can hear more details. Pre-teens should understand
how HIV is spread and that condoms help protect people from getting HIV/AIDS. You
may need to talk about how sex works before explaining HIV. Otherwise your child
may be confused. When the time is right, talk to older children about what they
can do to stay safe from HIV. Be specific.
- Correct misunderstandings. Children's misconceptions about AIDS
— such as the idea that they can "catch" it by being near someone with HIV/AIDS
— can be scary for them. It's important to correct them as soon as possible. Be
sure to check back with your child and see what she or he remembers. For young children,
understanding AIDS takes more than a single conversation.
- Build your child's confidence. Praising your children a lot, setting
realistic goals, and keeping up with their interests are good ways to build self-esteem.
When kids feel good about themselves, they are better able to ignore peer pressure.
They're less likely to use drugs or to have sex before they are ready. So they are
less likely to put themselves at risk of AIDS.
- Be ready to talk about death. When talking with your kids about
HIV and AIDS, questions about death may come up. Explain death in simple terms.
You could say that when someone dies, they don't breathe, eat, or feel hungry or
cold, and you won't see them again. Although very young children won't be able to
understand such finality, that's okay. Just be patient and repeat the message whenever
appropriate. Never explain death in terms of sleep. It may make your child worry
that if he falls asleep, he'll never wake up. Offer reassurance. If appropriate,
tell your child that you are not going to die from AIDS and that he won't either.
Stress that while AIDS is serious, it can be prevented.
- Prepare kids for sex. Teach your child about safer sex. Explain
that the only sure way to prevent HIV and other STIs, and unwanted pregnancy, is
to not have sex of any kind. Of course, it can be hard to talk about topics like
sex. But the girlshealth.gov
Parents and caregivers section can help with lots of tips for talking about
sex, relationships, and more. You owe it to girls you care about to share your thoughts!
- Encourage your kids to speak up. When your child is ready, teach
him or her about safer sex, so that your child's risk
of HIV infection is lower when he or she does decide to have sex. Don't wait too
long to explain this to your kids.
Information published courtesy of
This article was last modified in: 06/18/2012