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HIV+ Here Again
Dec 14, 2002

Dr. W.: It's me again, please forgive me for writing againg, however, I feel so lost. I need answers. I'm the one that was newly diagonsed with HIV a week ago, healthcare worker. NO S&S, except fatigue, however 100lbs overweight. Husband is negative, child don't know. She is 2, and has no S&S. My first evaluation with my Infectious Control Dr. Has been changed to another 1 month and half. I can't deal with this. I need answer. I need to know about my child, her test is in two days. I got my lab work. My CD4 is 777, and my viral load is undectable, I need some input on my child's chances of being +. I had a c-section, however, I did breastfeed for 1 month. However, my husband has had my breast milk (don't ask). Yet he is still negative. PLEASE, PLEASE HELP ME

Response from Dr. Wohl

First of all, I really think you should consider calling one of the excellent HIV/AIDS hotlines available. This way you can directly talk person to person and have your questions answered fully. The Gay Men's Health Crisis has an excellent hotline and you need not be gay or male to call in at 1-800-AIDS-NYC (800-243-7692). Likewise, the CDC National AIDS Hotline (1.800.232.4636) is a great resource which you may benefit from.

From what you have written me, you were recently diagnosed with HIV infection but have an undetectable viral load. Your CD4 cell count is 777, which is great. Given everything you told me the chance that your daughter acquired HIV from you is very low.

In studies of pregnant women with HIV done in the US the risk of transmission from mom to baby is about 25% when mom was not taking HIV meds. The risk is lower when the baby is delivered by C-section and even lower than that when mom has a very low viral load - like you. The breast feeding does add a wrinkle but most babies with HIV are infected during birth not before or after, even in places where breast feeding is universal. I hope this helps. Please do consider calling a hotline. I think it will make you feel better. DW

One additional question Dr. Wohl.
nursing student

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