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Need some help...please...

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My 23 year old little sister was just diagnosed on 10/5/07.  She got married this past April and is 20 weeks pregnant with her first child (a boy).  At her last doctor app.  they did some routine bloodwork, and was called to come back to the clinic.  She was completely shocked when our 2nd cousin (who by the way is her midwife) told her that she tested positive for HIV.  They are still awaiting her husband's results.  We are totally devastated and clueless.  We live in an are where HIV is uncommon.  To give you an idea,  my sister is the first HIV positive pregnant woman ever at this clinic and our local hospital, and they handle a very high volume of patients.  Therefore most people here are comletely ignorant to the disease.  What does she have coming her way?  How long can she live with this?  Her CD4 count is 311 and they don't know her viral load yet.  Please excuse my ignorance.  I am trying to learn everything I can about this.  That is how I cope for I feel that knowledge is power.

Hi -

I'm really sorry to hear your news.  It must be a huge shock to your family and, of course, especially to your sister.  I'm not sure of the facts but I believe I've read somewhere that drugs administered while pregnant can cut the chance of the unborn child being infected significantly.

I was only diagnosed last week on 10/4/07, the day before your sister.  I live in a city where HIV is pretty common (New York!) but of course it came as a surprise.  For me mostly because I've been sexually inactive for over a year and so it was, um, unexpected because there have been no signs except for a low sex drive.

Your sister should try to find a doctor experienced in HIV-positive pregnant women.  Knowledge is power.  And she should also be told often that she is loved.  Love is power.  And finally she should be encouraged to breathe.  Breath is power.

Feel free to email me.  I would be happy to help in any way.


hi her,

i'm sorry your sister tested positive, can you tell us a bit more about the location? We have members from all over the world that may help your sister find appropriate care.

I'm asking the moderators to move this to the "Someone I care about has hiv" forum as this is a better place to talk about your concerns.


We are in southeastern Kentucky.  Any advice on doctors nearby would be greatly appreciated.

Hello Her Sister,

How lucky she is to have your support. In case you've not yet seen this, here's a link
to some good information available from the NIH (National Institutes of Health) which you'll likely want print out to share with your sister. It deals specifically with pregnancy and HIV. This should help you to be able to communicate well with whomever she decides to be her ob/gyn and/or Infectious Diseases doctor. Hope this is helpful to both of you.

I'm sure this is a difficult time for all of you. A time of great joy now challenged by a lot of unanswered questions, in a region unaccustomed to such pregnancies. Sounds daunting, but she (and you) will get through it and plenty of other moms have done similarly and both mother/child have fared well. I'm confident you'll get more information posted here. Just give folks a couple of days to see the post.

Best regards.


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