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Followup on mother to child HIV antibody transmission
Aug 25, 2001

I guess I wasn't clear in my first post. If a mother passes HIV antibodies only to her child, then the child is not at risk for infection. But the child will be labled HIV positive. As a result there will be treatments with very powerful drugs that are not necessary and which can be very harmful. How is this potential problem handled?

Response from Dr. Jackson

Infants of HIV+ mothers will typically test positive for HIV antibody until approximately 9 months of age and even up to 18 months of age because of maternal transfer of HIV antibody across the placenta. Therefore, to determine whether infants are HIV infected, HIV RNA PCR or HIV DNA PCR tests are used to directly detect the virus in the blood. The alternative is to test the infant at 18 months of age for HIV antibody.

BJ


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