We owe it to our children to protect ourselves so they aren’t born with transmitted diseases.
Mother-to-child transmission of HIV is when a woman infected with HIV transmits HIV to her baby during pregnancy, during labor and delivery, or by breastfeeding. Because HIV can be transmitted through breast milk, women infected with HIV should not breastfeed their babies. In the United States, baby formula is a safe and healthy alternative to breast milk.
Although the risk is very low, HIV can also be transmitted to a baby through food that was previously chewed (prechewed) by a mother or caretaker infected with HIV. To be safe, babies should not be fed pre-chewed food.
HIV cannot be transmitted through casual contact, such as hugging and closed-mouth kissing. HIV also cannot be transmitted by items such as toilet seats, door knobs, or dishes used by a person infected with HIV.
HIV testing is recommended for all pregnant women. HIV testing is provided to pregnant women in two ways: opt-in or opt-out testing. In areas with opt-in testing, women may be offered HIV testing. Women who accept testing will need to sign an HIV testing consent form. In areas with opt-out testing, HIV testing is automatically included as part of routine prenatal care. With opt-out testing, women must specifically ask not to be tested and sign a form refusing HIV testing. he Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that opt-out testing be provided to all pregnant women.
Ask your health care provider about HIV testing in your area. If HIV opt-out testing is not available, ask to be tested for HIV.
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