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Still having more questions-HIV+
Jun 9, 2004

I am about 6 months pregnant and was recently diagnosed with being HIV+. Eventhough several STDs tests as well as tests for HepB and C came back negative, I still cannot believe that I am HIV+. My questions are as follows: 1.What final test can really prove that Iam HIV+ 2.Can I still take anti-retroviral medications that may assist in preventing the transmission of the virus to my unborn child- I am aware of false positives during pregnancy 3.Should I wait after delivery to get tested again; and what form of delivery may be helpful- by C section or Vaginal delivery. 4. Finally, are home tests reassuring in finding out if one is infected

Response from Dr. McGovern

Although you do not have evidence of hepatitis B or C, you could still have HIV infection. However, it appears that you are unaware of prior risks for HIV and you are absolutely right that on occasion an HIV test can be falsely positive during pregnancy. I have seen this occur in the past myself with another patient who then became HIV negative after she delivered.

The most important thing to do right now is to see an expert HIV provider in your area for counseling and further testing. At a minimum, you should have an HIV RNA test which is a test for virus in your blood. This will help to determine if you have HIV infection. You should also have a test to determine your number and percentage of CD4+ T cells in your blood. After these tests are performed then it will be easier to tell what else needs to be done for you and your baby.

Dr. McGovern



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