Pregnancy & HIV: New Risks Reported For Female To Male Transmission

It was once thought that the transmission of HIV from a female to a male was not very likely, although it was possible. However, recent reports suggest that the male’s risk of contracting the terminal illness is actually double than what was thought, but only when the female is pregnant.

Study Findings

The information, presented at the 2010 International Microbicides Conference (M2010), which was supported partly by the University of Pittsburgh PA, suggested that the need to become pregnant have outweighed the need for HIV protection according to certain social stigmas in many countries.

The study itself comprised of 3321 couples for up to two years in areas of Southern Africa; 320 couples, where the only man was HIV + and 503 couples, where only the woman tested HIV +.

From these couples, 26.6 percent of women who became pregnant also contracted HIV from their HIV + partners and 21.1 percent of men contracted HIV+ from their female partners who became pregnant.

In conclusion, the study findings showed that 3.5 men for every 100 became infected, as opposed to 1.6 men in every 100 when pregnancy was not a factor in the transmission of infection.

What Does This Mean?

What does this mean for HIV+ couples wishing to become pregnant? First, know that the possibility of the male partner contracting HIV from an infected female partner increases to at least double the normal risks and make a decision of whether or not that risk is acceptable to you as a couple.

Otherwise, the basic precautions should always be upheld, such as not sharing needles, using protection when having intercourse and abstaining from sex altogether when warranted.