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Treatment at 36 weeks pregnancy
Jan 29, 2004

I am 31 weeks pregnant and I am about to start taking treament at 36 weeks before birth. I would like to know is it true that once you have started with the treatment you will carry on with it forever. Is it also true that if it happen the baby at birth is positive - after a year of treatment can be become negative? Kindly help..

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your question.

Your question is a common misconception, namely that once you start therapy, that you can never, ever stop.

It is very important, that you are able to start medication as soon as possible. Effective therapy to treat you HIV can dramatically lower the chances that your child will be born with HIV. In my state of Colorado, to my knowledge, there hasn't been a baby born with HIV in the past many years, provided that the mom was on treatment.

The optimal time to start is debated, but suffice to say, that at 36 weeks, we have time to really lower your viral load, with potent therapies. Most experienced pediatric HIV doctors (I'm not one of them, since I take care of adults), would also very strongly recommend that your baby receive some form of HIV medications, too, in order to further lower the risk of transmission.

Once you deliver your baby, you and your doctor can discuss the merits of continuing HIV medications-- but this decision can wait until after you deliver a happy, healthy and HIV negative youngster.

Good luck. BY



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