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VL and the risk of b/f

Aug 19, 2012

Dear Dr, I've been on ART and expecting twins. I am due in about two weeks time. I took a VL test and my results indicate exam was completed on 18/08/2012. The results are HIV RNA PCR (VIRAL LOAD) = Less than 20 Copies/ml. First, kindly help me understand the results. Secondly, what's the level of risk of transmission to my babies since am advised to breastfeed for 6 months? Would you advise me to b/f too? I am a Ugandan. I already got the syrup for the babies. Thank you

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Your viral load results indicate that your HIV viral load is undetectable in the blood, which is great news. This lowers the risk of transmission to the fetus very significantly. The risk of infection to newborns with breast feeding is real, although is significantly reduced when the mother is on HIV meds and her viral load is undetectable. In general, breast feeding is recommended in resource-poor countries for HIV infected women to enhance the immune system of the developing child, but not in developed countries.

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