As with other illnesses, HIV disease is never the same in all people. HIV infection and the drugs to treat it can pose special challenges to both women and children. For instance, when HIV causes a woman's immune system to weaken, she can become susceptible to certain infections and illnesses that wouldn't be a risk for an HIV-positive man. And in very young children, their immune systems are still developing, so HIV disease and the strategies to treat it can be quite different from what we find in adults.
For an HIV-positive woman who wants to have a baby, or is already pregnant, many questions arise. What is the risk of transmitting HIV to your baby? Are there treatments to lower this risk? Are antiretrovirals safe to take during pregnancy? To explore these questions and many others, click on the following lesson link:
Of course, pregnancy is not the only health issue facing HIV-positive women. While it's true that HIV affects women in many of the same ways it affects men, it's also true that HIV-positive women face some unique issues, including side effects of therapy and certain opportunistic infections. Anyone interested in learning more about these and other unique issues facing HIV-positive women are encouraged to click on the following link:
Children with HIV also have special issues, especially how to take treatments that were primarily designed for adults. If you are a parent or caregiver to a child with HIV, you can learn more about their treatment issues by clicking this lesson link: