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Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

*As new resources become available, we will update this page.

PREGNANCY RESOURSES

Women living with HIV can safely experience pregnancy and their baby/babies do not have HIV.  In fact, no baby in Australia has contracted HIV from their mother when the mother is on HIV treatment. Many members of Positive Women Victoria have had healthy pregnancies where their babies are HIV negative. And over the years, these members and their children often meet at peer-support social events sharing the journey of their children’s growth from baby to young adult.

‘As a women living with HIV, when I had my first baby, I felt so alone until I met other mothers living with HIV. It has been a joy to meet up occasionally and see our babies grow up,’  Heather E, member of PWV.

To read more about HIV and Pregnancy visit Women Living Well, a resource developed by NAPWHA (National Association of People With HIV Australia),

 

LATEST NEWS:
For World AIDS Day 2021, Positive Women Inc. and Body Positive New Zealand launched the book “The Baby Who Changed the World”, which highlights how people living with HIV, who are on medication and have an undetectable viral load, cannot pass on HIV to their partners or babies.
You can get a free e-copy (6 languages), or purchase a hard copy from Sperm Positive

 

 

BREASTFEEDING RESOURCES

Breastfeeding For Women Living With HIV in Australia Resource   DOWNLOAD

If you are living with HIV, are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, you may be thinking about breastfeeding your baby, and whether it is safe or advisable.

This resource is the first of its kind in Australia and was developed by NAPWHA (National Association of People With HIV Australia) and Positive Women Victoria in 2021. It is for women who are living with HIV and want to understand the issues around breastfeeding or formula feeding. After reading this resource, we hope you will feel encouraged by the news that although medical and health experts agree that formula feeding is still the safest option, breastfeeding is increasingly being recognised as an option that may be open to some women living with HIV in Australia.

If you’d like a printed copy, we will post it to you. Email: info@positivewomen.org.au or phone: (03) 9863 8747 .

 

WATCH THE RECORDING – Breastfeeding Guidance and Resource launched at ASHM Conferences (6-9 September) 2021  

 

The Optimal Scenario & Context of Care: Guidance for Healthcare Providers regarding infant feeding options for people living with HIV   DOWNLOAD

This updated guidance for healthcare providers with regard to the infant feeding options available to people living with HIV in Australia offers guidance for a shared decision-making process between a person living with HIV and their healthcare providers to ensure that informed choices are made concerning infant feeding options.

In recent years, there has been a growing recognition among healthcare providers, researchers and clinicians that breastfeeding can be a viable choice for people living with HIV if they follow several criteria and are willing to engage in strategies to reduce the risk of HIV transmission.

 

INTERNATIONAL RESOURCES ON BREASTFEEDING/CHESTFEEDING FOR WOMEN LIVING WITH HIV

The Well Project (USA) –  Breastfeeding, Chestfeeding and HIV: Supporting Informed Choices

(The  Well Project is run by women living with HIV in the US and this page on Breastfeeding contains personal stories (video and text), video presentations, articles, factsheets, scientific reports and resources. The page is updated regularly with all the latest news and events.)

Women and HIV Infant-Feeding Resources Compiled by The Well Project

(This extensive list, which is updated regularly, contains breastfeeding resources from the US and around the world.)

 

LATEST EVENTS:

Breastfeeding and HIV in the U=U Era 
25 August 2021 via Zoom
The Well Project in the US presents Breastfeeding & HIV in the U=U Era: Advancing Conversation & Community Awareness. The panel features, Ciarra Covin, Olivia G. Ford, Catherine Hanssens of The Center for HIV Law and Policy  and Heather O’Connor from ICW-NA, who was diagnosed in 2016 has breastfeed both of her children. They discuss how current breast/chestfeeding guidelines, and concerns around state intervention, affect the lives and decisions of women and other birthing parents living with HIV.
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Mama Knows Breast webinar 
18 August 2021 via Zoom

ICW-NA (International Community of Women living with HIV – North America) joins forces with 4M – a peer-led program that trains women living with HIV across the UK to become Mentor Mothers. The webinar will feature two physicians who are well-versed on the topic, as well as a number of Mentor Mothers living with HIV discussing and debating all things breast/chestfeeding in the US and the UK.

WATCH THE RECORDING 

 

LATEST RESEARCH – HIV and Breastfeeding Science

Scientific studies from peer-reviewed journals on the risk of HIV transmission through breastmilk.  New scientific studies are added regularly. This is part of the HIV and Breastfeeding Defence Toolkit developed by the HIV Justice Network. Read the HIV and Breastfeeding scientific studies