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HIV and pregnancy

Research conducted with the support of the BC-CfE has uncovered some good news for women living with HIV.

In a nutshell, a diagnosis of HIV doesn’t mean women can’t become mothers and have a healthy pregnancy and baby.

There have been virtually no cases of transmission of HIV from mom to baby in BC within the last two decades, according to the BC Centre for Disease Control.

Findings from the Canadian HIV Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Cohort Study, supported by the BC-CfE, shows the incidence of pregnancy among women living with HIV has increased due to things like longer life expectancy, improved health and improved access to combination antiretroviral therapy.

Of the 1,165 women living with HIV who were part of the study, 278 of them — or almost 25 per cent— reported a pregnancy after their diagnosis. Of those pregnancies, 61 per cent were unintended.

One of the authors, Kate Salters, who is with the BC-CfE, said integrated HIV and reproductive health care programming is required to better support women living with HIV so they have good pregnancy planning and outcomes, and avoid unintended pregnancy.