HIV stands for
Human Immunodeficiency Virus.
basically, HIV is an illness
and it attacks your immune system.
So the main
ways of catching HIV
are through unprotected sex
with somebody who has HIV.
that the virus can be passed on
are from a
woman to her child
sharing injecting drug use equipment.
Over the years, I thought
I'd never be able to have a baby.
I couldn't even look at babies,
it was horrible.
And then as time went on,
it was a
and then a 7% chance
contract it mother to baby.
And then it went down to 1%.
Many women assume
that if they're pregnant
and they find out they're HIV positive
they'll pass on HIV
to their baby,
but that's not the case these days.
With good treatment
they can not pass on HIV to their baby.
As soon as we were married,
we started trying.
it took just over a year
to actually conceive,
I suppose because
it's slightly clinical or technical
in the way that it has to be done.
It may be a bit harder to conceive
but it's all worth it in the end.
There are three main ways
in which pregnant women
passing on HIV
to their babies.
The first is they can take
HIV treatment themselves.
The second is that in some cases
may be offered a caesarean section
rather than a vaginal delivery,
help reduce the chance
of passing on HIV.
the third thing
is to avoid breast feeding.
It took me probably the first month
to accept that I couldn't breast feed
and for her to stop seeking as well,
so that was
I had to be on the right medication.
There's different combination
but you have to be on a specific one
from crossing over the placenta,
so the baby doesn't contract it.
So you have
on the right medication to stop that.
And I also
the delivery side of things.
They say that they do a caesarean
there is less chance
of the baby getting the virus that way.
But with the viral load
there is a
of giving vaginal delivery as well.
So I just followed all the guidelines,
I wanted was my baby
to be born safely and well.
to a specialist HIV doctor
help not only in terms
of your own health
in terms of treatment and good health,
also help prevent
your baby getting HIV.
I had all the scans
in the middle of the normal ones
have to check
the baby was developing normally.
everything was going well
because of the medication.
I just did what I could to be safe.
And when I gave birth naturally,
immediately take the baby
and wash any blood that is there.
They immediately wash the baby, so
don't get given your baby immediately.
straight away and they
also have to be put on HIV medication
for the first month.
Once you've given birth,
then your baby will be tested for HIV
should know within a few days
whether the baby has HIV or not.
a series of follow-up tests
check that the baby
is doing well and is healthy.
The first one was definitely very
nerve-racking. Sorry, I get emotional.
I think we actually cracked open
a bottle of champagne and said,
"That's it. Cool. Brilliant."
Because it was really
to find out that she didn't have it.
I would just want to reassure women,
where they come from and
what type of strain of HIV they have,
very good medications
and we can
treat all pregnant women
who have HIV.
Have the tests done,
because if you are positive
and you can
get on the medication
it definitely decreases the risk
But also I would say to anybody
maybe they can't ever
have a life and have a baby
and have a
the proof is in the pudding.
I'm here, I'm with my husband,
I've been positive for 17 years,
I met my husband five years ago,
I've got a lovely home,
a lovely husband and a lovely baby.
just proof it can be done
and it can be done safely.