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Aikiko - learning you are HIV positive when pregnant

Photos are used for illustrative purposes. They do not imply health status or behaviour.

I am currently 6 months pregnant, I am 25 and found out that I have HIV when I went to my first OBGYN appointment. I just got married a month prior to the man of my dreams. When they told us my whole world stopped, I couldn't breathe. I looked at my husband and my eyes filled with tears. I was petrified – for my life and the life of my unborn child. My husband immediately held me close while I cried. He asked to be tested as well. His test came back negative. Thank god! But then I thought for sure he was going to leave me... And I wouldn't blame him.

How could this happen to me? You only hear about this happening to African American and gay people where I am from. But that is not true at all – HIV does not discriminate. I went to the infectious disease doctor and found out that I have had HIV for 7 years. This meant that I got it when I was 17 years old, and that my counts came back that I had AIDS.

If I wouldn't have become pregnant right when I did and found out I was positive ... I would be dead by next year. This baby saved my life and I am so grateful for that. My husband did not leave me… Our relationship is so strong now because of this. I appreciate my family and everyone and thing so much more… I appreciate a beautiful day and a wet kiss from my dog.

My biggest fear is that my baby will be born positive. I am on medications to prevent it. So hopefully the baby will be healthy. I do feel like an outcast. I ask myself why me every day, I rack my brain wondering who could have given it to me... I guess I will never know and I have to look ahead and be thankful for my husband and my baby on the way.

What we say: Expectant mothers living with HIV can virtually eliminate the risk of passing HIV to their child with antiretroviral treatment and advice on how to feed their baby from their doctor. This is why it is so important for all expectant mothers like Aikiko* to be tested for HIV during pregnancy – both for their own health and for the health of their unborn child. For more information, check out our page on Pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and HIV.

*These personal stories have been submitted to us anonymously by individuals who use our site. Some of the stories have been edited for clarity purposes. Some names have been changed to protect identities.

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Last updated: 26 September 2019