With the various developments in HIV/AIDS research such as effective modern HIV test kit and better disease understanding, a number of previously documented impossibilities are already deemed myths at present. Presented below are some scientifically contradicted myths that everyone, especially HIV-positive pregnant women must know.
1. HIV-positive women will definitely give birth to HIV-positive babies.
That statement is certainly false, although shared blood circulation of baby and mother is one of the infamous means of HIV transmission. It is definitely excellent news for HIV-positive women who currently are pregnant or who desire to conceive that present HIV medication put the maximum possibility of mother-baby transmission at 2 percent. This encouraging phenomenon is starting to materialize globally. To be certain, the infants must undergo an HIV home test a few weeks after being born.
2. HIV-positive males cannot become biological fathers of HIV-free children.
Although this appears more believable than the first myth, this is false. Men who tested positive to HIV test can now fail in passing the disease to their female sex partners and remarkably to the conceived children. There are several means for this to happen. For example, there’s already available FDA-approved prophylactic drug that HIV-negative mothers can take to prevent the acquisition of the disease and subsequent passing of infection to the offspring. As long as the viral load remains at an acceptable level, HIV-positive males can safely become parents just like their HIV-negative counterparts. Before engaging in sex, positive males must undergo HIV test to verify minimal risk. Likewise, HIV test kit must be purchased for the female partner and the future baby to verify absence of transmission.
3. Women who are pregnant need to eat twice compared to normal.
This broad-reaching myth does not get the backing of reputable studies. Although pregnant women have increased appetite because of the needs of the developing baby, this doesn’t translate to eating two adult-sized meals every single day of pregnancy. This truth applies to most women regardless of their HIV test result.
4. Under US medical insurance guidelines, HIV is deemed a pre-existing condition.
Actually this still remains a truth and this will only become invalid next year. By virtue of the US Affordable Care Act, HIV and other pre-existing conditions cannot be used by the government to discriminate the afflicted victims in terms of health coverage. Currently, there exist some services enabled by the said US act that pregnant women may utilize.
5. Cesarean section is a must for HIV-positive moms to ensure their children will be HIV-negative.
This no longer holds true. As a matter of fact, vaginal birth is the most recommended means of birth for HIV-positive mothers in the US. Previously, Cesarean birth was the recommended kind of delivery since this reduces the newborn baby’s contact with HIV-containing blood and other infected parts. Improvements in AIDS research now allow the mother to have very low amounts of viral particles- so low that they can no longer be sensed by the standard HIV test kit. Even outside a hospital, safe vaginal birth is definitely possible as long as the mother has a relatively harmless viral load. The HIV home test is ideally done on the mother before delivery. HIV home test or clinical test must also be performed on the newborn child.
6. Potent HIV medications definitely have adverse side effects on the unborn and newborn babies.
Research conducted by the Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry has demonstrated that children born from HIV-positive mothers exhibited lack of long-term deleterious effects even when the mothers remained loyal to their antiretroviral treatments. A contributing factor to this fact is the lower toxicity levels of current HIV medicines compared to their predecessors.
7. The phenomenon of HIV-positive women giving birth to HIV-free babies is a very rare one.
This is only apparently true for those who are unaware of the wonderful relationship between modern HIV treatments and aspiring parents. By the year 2000, there are already around 7000 HIV-positive women who gave birth in the US alone. After more than a decade and with best medical practices, this figure is expected to significantly improve at present.