Working for change 233
HIV/AIDS and pregnancy
Although there is still no cure for HIV/AIDS, there are medicines that can
help people with HIV/AIDS live much longer. They are the same medicines
(called ARVs) that help prevent a pregnant woman from passing HIV to
her baby during pregnancy, at birth, or while breastfeeding (see pages 358
If you have HIV and you are pregnant, it is important for you to get
treated for your disease as well as getting normal care for your pregnancy.
Women who are infected with HIV can have more problems in their
pregnancies, such as:
• fevers and infections.
• yeast infections of the vagina, mouth, or stomach.
• sexually transmitted infections.
• problems after the birth, such as bleeding and infection.
Try to find out if medicine is available to treat you, to prevent your baby
from getting HIV, or to treat the baby early. If there is a well-equipped
medical center in your area, it may be better for you to give birth there.
Working for change
What families and caregivers can do:
• Help us get enough food and rest.
• Be positive about the pregnancy.
• Make sure we get prenatal care and
go with us to get exams.
• Be of assistance any time.
Women with disabilities
have much the same
concerns as other women
who are pregnant. We
want to have a healthy
pregnancy and give birth
to a healthy baby.
What midwives, doctors, and other health workers can do:
Health workers will be able to help us if we start going to see them early in our
pregnancy, or even before we are pregnant. Because very few doctors, nurses,
midwives, and other health workers have experience caring for women with
disabilities, we can help them learn what is natural for us and how our disabilities
may (or may not) affect pregnancy. Health workers can also:
• learn about possible problems a woman with a disability may (or may not) have
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007