How Does HIV Affect Pregnant Women?
How does HIV affect pregnant women differently? HIV is transmitted through anal, oral or vaginal sex. It is a viral infection that destroys the protective layer of the infected cells in the blood stream. Once infected with HIV through one of these methods, the virus remains in the body of an HIV infected person for life. However, HIV usually does not have any detrimental effect on the fetus or newborn baby.
The major issue about HIV and pregnancy is that the virus remains in the mother’s body throughout her pregnancy. Unlike some viruses, HIV has been known to be able to replicate itself in the blood system of an HIV infected woman even after she is delivered. This is possible because the HIV virus attaches to the placental cord and then enters the bloodstream of the mother after birth. Once in the bloodstream of the mother, HIV replicates itself within the same cells it has inserted into the mother’s body.
For women with HIV, the risk of becoming pregnant while already infected with HIV is much higher than those who do not have the virus. The mother will often experience symptoms such as vaginal discharge, fever, headaches, joint aches and pains, and fatigue. If a mother has already become infected with HIV, she may still pass on the virus to her child even when she is pregnant. For this reason, how does HIV affect pregnant women differently?
On the one hand, the HIV antibodies passed on to babies by mothers remain in their body long after they leave the hospital. The antibodies act as protection for the babies against various strains of HIV. The antibodies can also slow down the development of the HIV virus inside the body of the child. This is why research is currently underway to develop vaccines to protect HIV-infected mothers and their unborn children. However, as of the moment, these medications have been proven to be highly effective in the treatment of HIV infection only.
Another way how does HIV affect pregnant women is through the substance of intercourse. It is now known that HIV-infected mothers can transmit the virus to their babies during intercourse. However, many doctors believe that HIV does not cause illness in the mother if the baby is infected with the virus in the womb. It is also believed that HIV does not travel through breast milk. Therefore, it is highly recommended for HIV-infected mothers to use other methods of birth control to prevent the transmission of HIV to their babies.
How does HIV affect pregnant women differently? Unfortunately, research findings have not been able to answer all HIV-related questions regarding the virus. It is essential to remember that every person is unique and therefore cannot be categorized into groups of risk. It is also essential to note that women who suffer from HIV are still very likely to give birth to healthy and fully-developed babies, but the chance of transmission of HIV is high. Therefore, it is highly recommended that women who suffer from HIV should not share any forms of information about their condition or their babies with anyone else.