Pregnancy & HIV

It’s important to continue to use condoms, even if you are already pregnant. Latex male condoms and plastic female condoms are the best way to block HIV and other sex diseases from one person to another. Ask for leaflets on the best way to use condoms. Information to keep in mind:

  • Do not put yourself and your baby at risk by having sex with a partner who will not use a condom
  • Get plenty of rest and keep all of your doctor visits (even if you feel fine)
  • If you have a steady partner, talk it over together
  • If sex is hard for you to talk about, ask for help from your counselor
  • Using drugs and alcohol make it challenging to use a condom the right way
  • Eat foods that are good for you 
  • Try not to do drugs, drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes.
  • You can get male and female condoms free at the Department of Public Health STD clinics 
  • If you are covered by Medicaid, you can get free female condoms in most drug stores (you will need a note from your doctor and your Medicaid card)

How to Use a Female Condom

  • Inner ring is squeezed for insertion
  • Sheath is inserted similarly to a tampon
  • Inner ring is pushed up as far as it can go with index finger
  • Female condom is in place

Pregnancy & Drugs

If you are pregnant and still use drugs (or your partner does), condoms are the best way to block HIV and other sex diseases. We know it's hard to quit, but getting help is important. Pregnant women and HIV-positive people are usually accepted into treatment programs sooner. No matter where you live in Illinois, you can call the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse for help at 312.814.3840. They can tell you where you can go for treatment. They are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can trust people who know about drug abuse, for yourself and your baby's sake.

If you are shooting drugs, never use anyone else's “works” and never share yours. Try not to use the same needle over again. If you do, you should clean it before and after using, to stop HIV and other diseases. If a needle exchange program is in your area, you can get clean needles at the program.


When shooting drugs:

  • Draw up clean water and rinse twice
  • Draw up bleach until syringe is full
  • Shake and tap it while you count to 60, then push out the bleach
  • Draw up clean water, rinse two times
  • Clean drug 'cookers'
  • Pour water in and out of them
  • Pour in bleach
  • Count to 60 while swirling it around
  • Pour the bleach out
  • Rinse two times
  • Don't reuse cotton balls (throw them out)
  • If you do use and share needles, they have to be cleaned before and after each use