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Dear Dr. Bob
Nov 24, 2005

My wife was just diagnosed as HIV+. I took the test, I came up -. I couldn't believe it. We had unprotected sex over the last two years more times than I can count. She is carrying my baby.

I need to know, what are the odds that our baby will be +. We are told my wife doesn't need meds yet and there is a good chance the baby will be okay, but doctors in this country like to candy-coat things. I just want an honest answer.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

I'm sorry to hear about your wife's recent HIV diagnosis.

Between 25 and 35% of babies born to untreated HIV-infected women become infected themselves. By treating pregnant women with anti-HIV drugs, we can reduce that risk dramatically. Recent reports also suggest that elective cesarean section, rather than natural vaginal childbirth, further reduces the risk of mother-to-child infections.

I strongly advise your wife to consult with an HIV specialist and an HIV-knowledgeable obstetrician.

Good luck to you and your family.

Dr. Bob



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