A mum with HIV is pregnant with second baby despite the risk of passing on killer virus to husband
Amanda Mammodova, from Milton Keynes, Bucks, was diagnosed with HIV in 2010 – just three months after first meeting her now husband, Ali.
Desperate to start a family with her new beau, the pair agreed to try for a baby – and Ali agreed to risk getting HIV to make their dream come true.
The pair were able to conceive now 21-month-old daughter, Saabria, who was born HIV free, and despite having unprotected sex, Ali has not contracted the virus.
The couple are now delighted to be expecting their second child together, due in June.
Amanda said: “Ali has always supported me and is willing to get HIV in order for us to be a normal couple, I did try to persaude him to go down the insemination route but he wanted us to concieve naturally.
“I had always wanted a family but when I was first diagnosed I thought my chances of having a family had been destroyed.
“I was worried I’d pass on HIV to my child, as there is a small chance it can be passed on during pregnancy.
“But HIV hasn’t ruined my life, I married Ali eight months after my diagnosis.
“At first I was petrified about how people would react, I was a fitness instructor so it could’ve affected my job but thankfully the people I have around me are very supportive.
“I also have an older daughter from a previous relationship and I was worried I wouldn’t see her grow up but when doctors reassured me I’d live a happy and normal life that gave me hope for the future.”
Amanda was devastated when she found out an ex-partner had unknowingly passed on the deadly virus.
The 33-year-old feared Ali would call off their relationship but instead he vowed to support her and has never left her side since.
When Amanda first found out she had HIV, Ali, 29, was tested straight away – but he was HIV negative.
The couple haven’t used protection when trying for a baby but Ali is still HIV negative and so is their daughter, Saabria.
Amanda said: “At first I would worry every time we had sex in case the condom split and he got infected too.
“But Ali reassured me that he wasn’t bothered whether he contracted HIV or not as I was his wife.
“My viral load is quite low anyway, so it would be quite hard for someone to catch HIV from me, compared to others living with the virus.
“Ali and I started trying for a baby a few months before I fell pregnant and Ali got tested for HIV afterwards, his test came back negative again.”
When Amanda is 20-weeks she will start taking HIV medicines to try and reduce the risk of her baby contracting the disease.
She said: “I took the medicine when I was pregnant with Saabria and she has so far tested HIV negative.
“I’m currently about eight weeks pregnant with our second child so it’s too early to start an preventative medicine yet.
“I try not to think too much about whether my unborn baby could contract HIV – we’re confident the baby will be negative as the risk is so low.”
Even though Amanda has come to terms with her HIV diagnosis she has experienced some stigma in the past.
She said: “One friend said she was worried about catching HIV from my cutlery, others will tut when they find out I’ve become a mum.
“I’m making the most out of my life and since my diagnosis my life has actually improved.
“I want other people to understand the importance of getting themselves checked, diagnosing HIV in the early stages saves lives.
“Ali gets checked every six months to ensure he’s still negative.”
Amanda is currently on no medication for her HIV but has check-ups every four months to ensure her immune system is functioning properly.
She said: “I haven’t needed antiretroviral therapy yet but I could need it at any point in the future as it prevents HIV progressing to AIDS.”
Amanda is a successful personal trainer and will often discuss her diagnosis if it comes up in conversation.
She added: “I pose no threat to my clients, I don’t usually disclose my HIV diagnosis but I don’t hide my status, it’s all over my Facebook so it’s quite obvious to those who look in to who I am as a trainer.
“I haven’t experienced a back lash from people knowing I have HIV, it doesn’t bother them at all.
“My clients have all been wonderful and extremely supportive.
“Not everyone who ‘comes out’ as being HIV positive will be rejected by society, I think it’s important for those living with the disease to know that.
“It’s not a death sentence anymore.
“Some people are very narrow minded and believe you can catch HIV through sweat or even touching someone with the disease.
Amanda believes educating people on HIV is key to helping people change the stigma attached to it.
She added: “I hope my story shows people that the disease doesn’t need to hold you back.
“My HIV diagnosis doesn’t define me, it has made me a stronger person.”