Pregnancy and HIV – Pregnancy Example

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"Pregnancy and HIV" is a wonderful example of a paper on pregnancy. Alongside many of the other false conclusions that people draw concerning HIV/AIDS, the inherent risks of pregnancy and the chance of passing HIV/AIDS on the unborn is also categorically misunderstood by most individuals/stakeholders in society. As a function of helping to discuss this to a more full and complete degree, the following analysis will focus upon the manner through which HIV/AIDS has the potential to be passed to an unborn/newborn. Accordingly, rather than providing advice against the first place, the analysis will instead be concentric upon discussing the common ways in which HIV/AIDS is transmitted between mother and child in seeking to provide a useful level of bias with respect to ameliorating and reducing these risks.

It is the hope of this author that on completion of analyzing this research, the reader will come to a more informed and useful level of understanding with respect to the relationship and interrelationship HIV/AIDS has with respect to an unborn/newborn infant. Contrary to popular belief, is not inherently true that HIV-positive mother will necessarily pass HIV on to their unborn/newborn infant.

Instead, there is a chance that this can take place; however, this chance can be reduced by engaging in key actions that decrease the risk of infecting the unborn/newborn child.     Ultimately, the placenta serves as a type of protective membrane which mostly insulates the developing fetus from infected blood provided by the mother. Although it is true that in certain cases this natural barrier is not sufficient to protect against each and every infection, as long as the mother takes necessary inadequate steps to ensure her own health as well as promoting the health of her unborn infant, the overall risk of transmission via the shared blood supply is not as high as most would have the individual to believe.   In the eventuality that the mother is planning on becoming pregnant, it is incumbent upon attempts to get into the best shape possible prior to this taking place.

The underlying reason for this is that an individual in exceptionally good shape stands a far lower risk of giving the virus the upper hand within her body during the course of even a difficult pregnancy.

As such, working out, and close attention to nutritional intake, and actively ensuring that each and every pharmacological means of HIV/AIDS intervention is utilized, as prescribed by a doctor, is essential in achieving this level of good health (Phiri et al. , 2014).   Notwithstanding this, the individual should also engage with their healthcare provider and discuss the relevant impacts of each of their drugs in terms of the potential for becoming pregnant and the desire to become pregnant. For instance, certain drugs within the HIV/AIDS cocktail of intervention have been proven to negatively impact the overall health of the infant; some even have a clear linkage between birth defects and other undesirable outcomes. Once pregnancy has begun, there are ultimately three main ways in which an infant can be exposed to the HIV/AIDS virus from the mother.

The first and most obvious of these is with regards to the fact that the infant and mother share a blood supply during the early stages of pregnancy. Although there are no clear and definitive ways to outright avoid this risk at the present time, researchers and HIV/AIDS specialists have put together selective treatment plans that allow the overall representation of this virus to be greatly reduced within the early stages of the pregnancy; providing the right blend of drugs (Mor et al. , 2013).

The secondary, and by extension one of the most preventable means of the infant acquiring HIV/AIDS from the mother is with regards to the very high level of bodily fluids that the infant’ s exposed to upon exiting the birth canal. However, this risk can be almost entirely reduced in the event that the mother has a caesarian section.   Immediately after birth, the infant can and should be tested for HIV/AIDS.

Many of these tests, especially the ones that have been created over the past few years, allow medical professionals to ascertain whether or not the child has acquired HIV within the first few weeks after birth (Adany et al. , 2013). Yet, notwithstanding the risks and strategies that have up until this point been discussed, another potential way for the infant/child to develop HIV/AIDS is with regards to exposure to further bodily fluids of the infected person.

For instance, medical research points to the fact that breast milk contains an extremely high percentage of the HIV/AIDs virus as compared to other bodily fluids.   For this very reason, mothers who have HIV/AIDS are strongly encouraged to provide formula-based milk for their newborns as opposed to breast milk. Research has further shown that of those infants exposed to infected breast milk, approximately 25% go on to develop HIV-AIDS during the course of their infancy.     In the eventuality that the infant/newborn is exposed to HIV/AIDS during the birthing process or by another means in the immediate past, medical professionals are able to provide certain meats intervention that can allow for the virus itself to be staved off.

Although the window of opportunity for this particular approach is extraordinarily small, many obstetricians and HIV/AIDs doctors promote this approach as a fail-safe way to ensure that even if exposure takes place, there is a means of preventing the infant from developing life-long HIV/AIDS.   Taken cumulatively, all of these potential risk factors coalesce to provide a 25% chance that the child born to an HIV-infected mother will develop HIV/AIDS as a result of this exposure.

Naturally, in terms of medical statistics, this is still rather risky and represents an “ average” . In terms of such an average and a discussion/relevance of this statistic to a greater understanding of HIV/AIDS and pregnancy, the reader can and should focus upon the fact that the corresponding actions and recommendations that have been made with this are not strictly followed by each and every mother that becomes pregnant while infected with the HIV virus (Warren et al. , 2013).

In terms of such an understanding, it can readily be noted that by the appropriate implementation of strategy, medical needs, nutrition, health, having a caesarian section rather than birth through the birth canal, and refusing to provide natural breast milk are all adequate means through which this prior statistic can be improved drastically.   From the discussion that is taken place within this brief assignment, it is clear and apparent that HIV/AIDS infection from mother to child is a relevant concern that both medical professionals and those infected with HIV/age should be cognizant of.

However, this fact notwithstanding, it is far from guaranteed that a mother who is infected with HIV-AIDS will necessarily pass along this virus to their infant. Instead, the degree of progression that the virus has made within the health of the mother, the degree and extent to which the mother is willing and able to address the virus and provide adequate nutrition, diet, and exercise, and the degree and extent to which the pregnancy proceeds without incident are all contingent factors that are partially within the control of the mother.

Within such an understanding, providing relevant education, intervention, and counseling to those mothers who have HIV, or those potential mothers who wish, or may become, to be pregnant should be engaged categorically.   AIDS is no longer that sentence that it was in the early 1980s. As a result of advanced anti-retroviral drugs, the life expectancy of individuals living with HIV/AIDS can approach the overall life expectancy of the general population.


Andany, N., & Loutfy, M. (2013). HIV Protease Inhibitors in Pregnancy. Drugs, 73(3), 229-247. doi:10.1007/s40265-013-0017-3

Mor, Z., Pinsker, G., Levy, C., Haddad, E., Levin, H., & Grotto, I. (2013). Evaluation of current selective screening recommendations in the light of the local epidemiology. Harefuah, 152(4), 220.

Phiri, K., Fischer, M. A., Mogun, H., Williams, P. L., Palmsten, K., Seage, G. R., & Hernandez-Diaz, S. (2014). Trends in Antiretroviral Drug Use: 2000-2007. AIDS Patient Care & Stds, 28(2), 56-65. doi:10.1089/APC.2013.0165

Warren, C. E., Abuya, T., & Askew, I. (2013). Family planning practices and pregnancy intentions among HIV-positive and HIV-negative postpartum women. BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth, 13(1), 1-10. doi:10.1186/1471-2393-13-150

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