If youre pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant, you need to
know if you have HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Knowing your HIV status may
save your babys life, since pregnant women can pass the virus to their
babies. In fact, most children have AIDS because their mothers passed HIV to
them during pregnancy, at the time of birth or through breastfeeding.
New research shows that if you are HIV positive, there are treatments
available to reduce the chances your baby will be infected with HIV.
Unfortunately, many people do not know they have HIV because they do not
show signs of being infected. You should know, however, that most women
infected with HIV are between the ages of 14 and 44. You should also know that
women are more likely than men to become infected with HIV through sex.
So, find out about your HIV status for you and your baby. Remember, your
baby doesnt have to get HIV.
To learn more about HIV and pregnancy, first ask a doctor. To find out about
AIDS/HIV testing and counseling near you, call the Illinois Department of
Public Health AIDS/HIV and STD Hotline at 1-800-243-2437, TTY (hearing impaired
use only) 1-800-782-0423.