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Couples who are thinking about trying to conceive a baby should ideally be tested for sexually-transmittable diseases, including HIV, before they decide to ditch the birth control, in my opinion. Even if you have been monogamous for many years, testing to make sure that you are completely healthy has never done anyone any harm, and it could save you from a lot of complications later on. If you are planning to deliver at a hospital and seeing an OB for your prenatal care, you will probably be asked to undergo a HIV test at some point during your pregnancy. Why is that necessary, even if you already know your HIV status? Can you decline? And most importantly of all, how does knowing you have HIV help your unborn baby?

I'll take the liberty of assuming that everyone reading our website about trying to conceive is a grown-up, and knows perfectly well how HIV can be spread, and that it can cause AIDS. So we'll skip the step of discussing that, and just tell you that a HIV test is a non-invasive procedure. The chances are that you are going to have blood work done while you are expecting a baby in any case, so while the lab has got your blood in their possession, you might as well use the opportunity to make sure you are HIV-free, as all doctors recommend.

HIV testing during pregnancy is not compulsory of course your doctor is providing this as a voluntary service, just like any other medical care you receive during your pregnancy. However, if you do happen to be infected with HIV, knowing about it can make all the difference to your baby. With modern medicine, and proper care, a regime aimed at preventing the spread of HIV from a mother to her unborn baby is said to be 99 percent effective. And if you don't have HIV, you, along with your treating doctors and nurses, will be able to put your mind at rest.

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