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Pregnant and newly diagnosed
Jul 2, 2004

Hello, There has been a recent case of my brother wife being diagnaised as HIV Positive. She is pregnant.

How do we tackle the current situation.

The doctors say that after 5 years the Virus wil be active. It is now dormant. IS there any maximum age of HIV surviival. She is now 26.

Response from Dr. Pierone

For pregnant women an additional consideration of HIV treatment is prevention of transmission of infection to their infant. With contemporary combination medications the mother to child transmission rate is less than 1 percent. It used to be about 25 percent before antiretrovirals were available.

When the doctors said that the infection was dormant they were referring to the fact that most people with HIV infection go many years without any symptoms of illness. The virus is actively replicating, so its really not dormant, it just takes years for the virus to damage the immune system to the point that it begins to unravel.

In terms of life expectancy, the belief is that persons with HIV infection that have access to medical care and antiretroviral medication can expect a near normal life span. This is contingent upon the ability to adhere to therapy when it is needed.

To tackle the current situation, your sister-in-law needs to get in to see a doctor with experience treating HIV-infected pregnant women. She will be started on medications to prevent transmission, then may or may not be kept on therapy after delivery. Your brother will also need to checked for HIV to see if he is infected. Best of luck!



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