HIV | Sex & pregnancy


Sex is the main route of transmission for HIV in Europe.

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. However medication for these purposes is not available on prescription.

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Effective antiretroviral therapy is the most important aspect of protection of the newborn from being infected with HIV. However some antiretroviral medicaments are problematic, because of possible toxicity. A change of medication is 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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