HIV | Sex & pregnancy

Sex

Sex is the main route of transmission for HIV.

An effective antiretroviral therapy leads to suppression of HIV replication below the limit of detection of sensitive assays. This correlates with a marked reduction of the risk of transmitting HIV during sex. Effective antiretroviral therapy is a better protection against transmission of HIV than safer sex. However the additive use of a condom is still an option.

In case of risky sexual contacts antiretrovirals can be taken before (PreP) or after (PeP) the action. Medication for these purposes is available on prescription for patients with German insurance coverage.

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Pregnancy

Effective antiretroviral therapy is the most important tool for protection of the newborn from being infected with HIV. However some antiretroviral medicaments are problematic, because of possible toxicity for the foetus. A change of antiretroviral medication may be necessary in these circumstances. Because of that, pregnant women should contact an HIV specialist as early as possible.

The option of a cesarean section should be discussed with a gynecologist experienced in delivery of babies from HIV infected mothers.

An optimal integrated care can reduce the risk of the newborn to be HIV infected to less than 1%.

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