Why is it important to link HIV-exposed newborns and their mothers with social services?

Many women find out about their HIV status through prenatal testing. HIV and pregnancy can be very isolating therefore it is important to stress to the patient that she is not alone. Many people become overwhelmed and experience depression when they are first diagnosed. We recommend that you refer patients to a social worker or case manager who specializes in caring for people with HIV. There are many government-sponsored programs for people with HIV who have limited or no resources. An HIV case manager/social worker can help link the patient to an individual counselor or a support group (online or in person). There are trained professionals that can help patients talk about their feelings, talk to partners about the diagnosis, safe sex and dealing with learning about the diagnosis during pregnancy.