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infants becoming hiv negative-?
Dec 26, 2005

I worked at an orphanage in Haiti this past summer and was told that babies who test positive can 'become' hiv negative if they are retested at a year to 18 months. By 'negative' does it mean gone forever? or does it mean that there's just not 'enough' in their body to test positive? I have been looking into this online and read that sometimes they just kinda 'carry' it from their mother and it goes away. is this true? thanks a lot!

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your question.

What this situation refers to (I think), is the observation that many babies born to HIV+ mothers will acquire their mother's HIV antibodies and test "positive". What's important to understand is that this does not necessarily mean that the babies have (or don't) have HIV virus in their blood, just the antibodies.

The mother's antibodies fade away with time in the babies, resulting in a negative HIV antibody test (this is probably the situation that the 12-18 month retest is referring to). These babies do not, and did not have HIV virus in their bodies (or HIV infection).

I hope this clarifies the situation. Thanks for posting. BY



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