Does My Baby Have Hiv
Your baby should be tested for HIV at birth, and again four to six weeks later.
If the result comes back negative, your baby should be tested again at 18 months and/or when you have finished breastfeeding to find out your babys final HIV status. It is very important to take your baby for this final HIV test to ensure they are HIV-negative or to get them on treatment if they are positive.
If any of these tests come back positive, your baby will need to start treatment straight away. Talk to your healthcare professional, and attend follow-up appointments to ensure your baby receives treatment.
Reducing The Risk Of Passing Hiv To Your Baby
If you have HIV, you can reduce the risk of passing it to your baby by:
- taking antiretroviral drugs during pregnancy, even if you don’t need HIV treatment for your own health
- considering the choice between a caesarean or vaginal delivery with your doctor
- bottle feeding your baby, rather than breastfeeding
- your doctor prescribing your baby antiretroviral drugs for up to 4 weeks after they have been born
Do not breastfeed your baby if you have HIV, as the virus can be transmitted through breast milk.
Hiv Testing Of Pregnant Women And Newborns
The ACLU on HIV Testing of Pregnant Women and Newborns
Proposals for mandatory HIV testing of vulnerable populations have always met strong resistance from defenders of privacy. Testing people against their will and then telling them their HIV status is hardly the best way to offer effective treatment or persuade people to take steps to reduce the risks of transmission to others. But advances in science have lead many to reconsider. Do the potential benefits of testing in some contexts outweigh the privacy interests? The argument is nowhere more heated than in the context of pregnant women and newborns.
It is now clear that with the proper regimen, beginning in the third trimester of pregnancy, the chances of a newborn contracting its mothers’ HIV can be dramatically reduced – from around a one-in-four chance that the newborn will be infected, to as low as around one in fifty. These promising discoveries have led to a rash of proposals for mandatory testing of pregnant women and newborns so that treatment can begin immediately. So far, only the legislatures of New York and Connecticut have enacted mandatory programs that impose HIV tests without consent where pregnant women turn down the “”offer”” of testing.
Clearly, testing the newborn after delivery is about the least effective program of mandatory testing that the legislature could have implemented. Whether or not a testing program for pregnant women may be advisable, a testing program for infants makes no sense.
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Hiv Tests Used In Infants And Toddlers
The virologic assays used in infants can either be the so-called polymerase chain reaction test, which detects the presence of HIV DNA, or an HIV RNA assay, which clearly detects HIV RNA.
While the specificity of each of these tests is high at the time of birth, their sensitivity can be as low at 55% for the PCR and 25% for the HIV RNA. However, by the time the newborn reaches three months, the accuracy of the tests generally approaches 100%.
In specific circumstances, HIV antibody tests can be used in children between the ages of six and 18 months to definitively exclude HIV infection. However, they should not be used to confirm HIV infection due to concerns about residual maternal antibodies.
Confirmation of an HIV infection should be based on two positive test results taken from separate blood samples.
- Two or more negative virologic tests taken ages one month and four months, or
- Two negative antibody tests taken from separate blood samples in children over the age of six months.
In children over the age of 18 months, standard adult HIV testing guidelines apply.
Why Should I Have An Hiv Test During Pregnancy
If you have HIV and are not treated, there is a 1 in 4 risk that your baby will have HIV. If you are treated, the risk drops to about 1 in 100. Most babies born to HIV-positive mothers will NOT get HIV if mothers are treated during pregnancy and delivery, and if babies are treated in the first few weeks after birth. Treatment will also improve your health.
Telling Health Professionals About Your Hiv Status
It is important to tell your doctor, obstetrician or midwife about your HIV status as early as you can .
Telling your health team, helps to talk through any concerns you may have and ensure you receive treatment before that suits your needs, and is safe throughout pregnancy and after your baby is born.
Also, if your medical team knows about your HIV status, they can take steps to minimise the risk of accidental transmission during any medical procedures.
What Other Steps Protect Babies From Hiv
HIV can spread from a mother to her child through breast milk. In the United States, infant formula is a safe and readily available alternative to breast milk. For these reasons, women with HIV who live in the United States should not breastfeed their babies. Women with HIV can talk to their health care providers to discuss alternative options for feeding before their babies are born or even if they are already breastfeeding.
Additionally, babies should not eat food that was pre-chewed by a person with HIV.
To learn more, read the HIVinfo fact sheets:
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Managing Illness As A Parent
Although medical advances now allow people with HIV to live full, healthy lives, you may have times where you or your partner is unwell or needs medical care.
As with any longer-term illness, this can impact on your ability to earn an income, manage a household or raise children.
Living with chronic illness can be a challenge and sometimes families need extra support. Trying to sort things out on your own can make life seem overwhelming. Dont be afraid to ask for help from expert organisations that support people with HIV.
How Is My Baby Tested For Hiv
Your baby will have a blood test for HIV within a few hours after birth. This test is done again when your baby is 14 to 21 days old, one to two months old, and four to six months old.
If two or more blood tests show no HIV infection in your baby’s blood, your baby is most likely not infected. However, one last HIV test is done when your baby is older than 18 months. Until then, your doctor will check your baby often for signs of HIV infection. If one HIV blood test is positive, your doctor will do the test again.
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Do I Have To Take These Tests
You could have caught any of these infections years ago and not know it. Most people who have these infections don’t know that they have them since they don’t have symptoms. These tests are offered to you for your own health and the health of your baby.
You can choose to not have the tests done. However this decision could hurt your baby.
A Layman’s Guide To Understanding Hiv Testing In Newborns
HIV testing in infants and toddlers varies significantly from how adults are tested. Rather than testing for HIV antibodies , doctors will instead test for the actual presence of HIV using what is called a qualitative viral assay.
This differs from quantitative viral assay used to measure HIV in a person’s blood. Instead, the qualitative test confirms whether the virus is actually there or not.
Antibody tests, including newer generation tests, cannot establish HIV infection in infants because the antibodies may, in fact, be that of the mothertransferred from mother to child through the placenta during pregnancy. Its important, therefore, to understand that the presence of these “inherited” antibodies does not indicate HIV infection. Quite often, the maternal antibodies will slowly disappear, on average when the child is around 14 months of age .
In order to minimize the risk of infection, newborns are generally prescribed a preventive course of antiretroviral drugs for a period of four to six weeks. In the U.S. and most developed countries, pregnancy guidelines recommend that breastfeeding be avoided to prevent the possible transmission of HIV through breast milk.
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What Can I Do To Lower My Risk Of Passing Hiv To My Baby
Thanks to more HIV testing and new medicines, the number of children infected with HIV during pregnancy, labor and childbirth, and breastfeeding has decreased by 90% since the mid-1990s.1
The steps below can lower the risk of giving HIV to your baby:
Tell your doctor you want to get pregnant. Your doctor can help you decide if you need to change your treatments to lower your viral load, to help you get pregnant without passing HIV to your partner, and to prevent you from passing the virus to your baby. He or she will also help you get as healthy as possible before you get pregnant to improve your chances of a healthy pregnancy and baby. Don’t stop using condoms for STI prevention and another method of birth control for pregnancy prevention until your doctor says you are healthy enough to start trying.
Get prenatal care. Prenatal care is the care you receive from your doctor while you are pregnant. You need to work closely with your doctor throughout your pregnancy to monitor your treatment, your health, and your baby’s health.
Start HIV treatment. You can start treatment before pregnancy to lower the risk of passing HIV to your baby. If you are already on treatment, do not stop, but do see your doctor right away. Some HIV drugs should not be used while you’re pregnant. For other drugs, you may need a different dosage.
Can The Us End The Hiv Epidemic In A Decade As Trump Pledged
Doctors have long known that treating babies in the first weeks to months of life is important, because their developing immune systems are especially vulnerable to HIV. But an infant dubbed the Mississippi baby raised a critical question: Should treatment start even earlier? The girl received a three-drug combination within 30 hours of her birth in July 2010, highly unusual for the time. Her family quit treatment when she was a toddler yet her HIV remained in remission for a remarkable 27 months before she relapsed and restarted therapy.
The Botswana study was one of several funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health after doctors learned of the Mississippi baby, to further explore very early treatment.
The findings are encouraging, said Dr. Deborah Persaud, a pediatric HIV specialist at Johns Hopkins University who wasnt involved with the Botswana study but helped evaluate the Mississippi baby.
The study showed what we hypothesized happened in the Mississippi baby, that very early treatment really prevents establishment of these long-lived reservoir cells that currently are the barrier to HIV eradication, Persaud said.
She cautioned: Very early treatment is important, but prevention should still be our top priority.
Medication brought HIV under control in both groups. But the children treated earliest had a much smaller reservoir of HIV in their blood, starting about six months into treatment, the researchers reported in Science Translational Medicine.
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Management Of Newborns Exposed To Maternal Hiv Infection
ALEX H. KRIST, M.D., and AMY CRAWFORD-FAUCHER, M.D., Fairfax Family Practice Residency, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Fairfax, Virginia
Am Fam Physician. 2002 May 15 65:2049-2057.
Currently, more than 160,000 women of childbearing age in the United States may be infected with the human immunodeficiency virus .1 By 1995, 16,000 U.S. infants had become infected with HIV perinatally, and the leading cause of death in young children was the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome .2 Before 1995, perinatally infected infants had a 50 percent chance of developing AIDS by three years of age and a 90 percent chance of dying by 10 years of age.3 From 1992 to 1997, the number of AIDS cases in children declined by 66 percent, primarily because major advances in management resulted in decreased vertical transmission of HIV during pregnancy.2 The risk of perinatal HIV infection can vary from 1 to 33 percent, depending on interventions and maternal disease state.4
The early identification of HIV infection, the administration of highly active antiretroviral drug therapy, the suppression of viral loads to undetectable levels, and the prevention of opportunistic infections all have been shown to prolong life and prevent morbidity in adults. In theory, the principle of viral load suppression would apply to infants as well as adults. However, the management of HIV infection in children is a rapidly evolving area with limited data.
Can I Get Help Paying For Care During Pregnancy
If you are pregnant, Medicaid may pay for your prenatal care. If you are pregnant and living with HIV, Medicaid might pay for counseling, medicine to lower the risk of passing HIV to your baby, and treatment for HIV. Each state makes its own rules regarding Medicaid. Contact your local or county medical assistance, welfare, or social services office to learn more. If you are unable to find that number, search your state’s department of health.
If you don’t think you qualify for assistance, check again. Sometimes states change their Medicaid rules. Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid eligibility expanded to cover many more people. Also, you may be newly eligible for Medicaid because of increased income limits for prenatal care and HIV treatment for pregnant women.
You may also access care through the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program. Find a Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program medical care provider near you.
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Why Should I Get Tested
HIV testing is important for people to receive early treatment, care and information to manage their disease. This includes information about how to prevent passing HIV to other people. A person with HIV can pass the virus to their baby during pregnancy, childbirth or while breast/chest feeding. Because of the risk of passing HIV to your baby, it is very important for you to get tested for HIV. You need to start treatment as soon as possible to improve your own health and help you have a healthy pregnancy and baby.
How Do I Get Tested
You can get a referral for an HIV test through your health care provider, at a walk-in clinic or by visiting one of the clinics listed in the Smart Sex Resource Clinic Finder: www.smartsexresource.com/get-tested/clinic-finder.
If you have had blood tests during your pregnancy, ask your health care provider to confirm if you were tested for HIV.
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How Is Hiv Transmitted From Mother To Child During Pregnancy
If you are a pregnant woman living with HIV there are a number of ways that HIV might be passed on to your baby. HIV in your blood could pass into your babys body. This is most likely to happen in the last few weeks of pregnancy, during labour, or delivery. Breastfeeding your baby can also transmit HIV, because HIV is in your breastmilk.
There is a 15 to 45% chance of passing HIV on to your baby if neither of you take HIV treatment.
However, taking the correct treatment during your pregnancy and while you breastfeed can virtually eliminate this risk.
Getting Pregnant When You Are Hiv
If you want to conceive, are an HIV-positive woman with an HIV-negative male partner, you can choose artificial insemination. You can do this at home using your partners semen, rather than having unprotected sex.
To improve your chances of becoming pregnant through artificial insemination it is best to do it at the most fertile time in your menstrual cycle.
Learning about fertility awareness will help you to know when you are most likely to conceive.
Speak to your GP, HIV doctor, sexual health nurse, or fertility specialist.
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The Impact Of Our Work: Sustainable Treatment
In 2014 we collaborated with a number of international organisations to launch the Global Access Program . aimed at strengthening local healthcare capacity and increasing access to affordable diagnostic tools in resource-limited settings. Since its inception, the program has expanded substantially in menu and geographic footprint to provide increased access to diagnostics for other high burden diseases – MTB, HBV/HCV and HPV/ cervical cancer – to meet the challenges facing healthcare systems. Through the Global Access Program, more than 100 lab technicians across Sub-Saharan Africa are trained every year at our Roche Scientific Campus and partner training facilities in South Africa. We have also added more programmes to train healthcare workers in all areas of laboratory medicine.
Are Fewer Than 6000 Babies Born Hiv+ Every Year In Sa As Zuma Said
South Africas President Jacob Zuma highlighted the success of his administrations HIV policies in parliament recently. Does official data back up his claim that fewer than 6,000 babies are born HIV+ every year?
Researched by Ina Skosana
South Africa is respected for its achievements in fighting HIV and AIDS since he took office, President Jacob Zuma told parliamentarians recently.
As part of the presidencys budget vote speech, Zuma specifically lauded governments programme to prevent pregnant women from passing on the virus to their babies. About 70,000 babies were born HIV+ in 2004, Zuma said.
Due to our very successful prevention of mother-to-child transmission programme, the figure has dramatically dropped to below 6,000, he added.
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Is My Baby More Likely To Get Other Illnesses
Babies who get HIV might also get other illnesses, like hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and tuberculosis. During your pregnancy, it is important for you to be tested for these diseases. If you have any of them, your baby will also be tested for them at birth.
Babies with HIV are more likely to get lung infections. One is a type of pneumonia called PCP. Sometimes a baby gets PCP even before a blood test shows that the baby has HIV infection.
All babies born to a mother with HIV should take an antibiotic once they are four to six weeks old to prevent PCP unless their first two HIV tests are negative.