Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

HIV & AIDS Health Center

Font Size

HIV and Pregnancy

Two Drugs to Avoid

Only two antiretroviral drugs have been shown to pose a danger to babies in the womb when taken in the early months of pregnancy. They are Sustiva and Atripla (which contains Sustiva).

About 25% of babies whose HIV-positive mothers don’t go on ART will contract HIV, says Kassaye.

The best plan, Seidman says, is for HIV-positive women to talk through all of their options with their doctor early on.

Set Up a Plan Early

“The best-case scenario is for the woman to begin speaking to her doctor or doctors about prenatal care even before she becomes pregnant,” Seidman says. “We want people to be on a good regimen prior to pregnancy, so we can talk about which drugs are safe to get on, and establish care as early as possible.”

Barring that, all pregnant women infected with HIV should be taking anti-HIV medications by the second trimester. Women diagnosed with HIV later in pregnancy should start taking anti-HIV medications as soon as possible.

But about 18% of all people with HIV don’t know their infection status. That means many women with HIV who become pregnant don’t know they have the virus.

Preventive Meds for Baby; No Breastfeeding

During labor and delivery, when the baby may be exposed to HIV in the mother’s genital fluids or blood, pregnant women infected with HIV get a steady drip of the antiretroviral drug AZT through a needle in their arm, while continuing to take their usual drugs by mouth.

Once they’re born, babies get liquid AZT in a syrup for 6 weeks as a preventive measure. The babies whose moms didn’t take anti-HIV meds during pregnancy may be given other anti-HIV medications along with AZT.

The final part of the care plan is to avoid breastfeeding, Seidman says, since breast milk is one of the primary body fluids through which HIV is passed.

“The combination of viral suppression, not breastfeeding, and giving the baby liquid ART after birth are the keys to having an HIV-negative baby,” she says.

1 | 2
Reviewed on December 02, 2013

Today on WebMD

How much do you know?
contemplative man
What to do now.
Should you be tested?
HIV under microscope
What does it mean?
HIV AIDS Screening
man opening condom wrapper
HIV AIDS Treatment
Discrimination Stigma
Treatment Side Effects
grilled chicken and vegetables
obese man standing on scale
cold sore