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about new born child of HIV postive mother

Jul 26, 2008

my sister is tested as positive HIV while admitted for delivery day before yesterday. the girl child born . Sister were never tested before. we are very much worried and want to the chance of being infection to the child and the expected life span of the both and whether any feasibility in treatment for both

Response from Dr. Frascino


Sorry to hear about your sister's HIV diagnosis. This is indeed a very unfortunate time and tragic way to learn about one's HIV-positive status. Hopefully, as soon as they found out about your sister's HIV diagnosis, an HIV specialist was called in to help. Antiretroviral drugs administered prior to delivery to the mom and immediately after deliver to the infant could help decrease the risk of maternal-to-child HIV transmission during childbirth. If this did not occur, the average risk for an HIV-positive untreated woman passing the virus on to her baby would be approximately 25%. What's important now is to get an HIV specialist involved in your sister's care and to monitor her newborn daughter. It will take some time to assess whether the newborn is infected. As for "life span" expectancy, that would depend on many factors, including the duration of your sister's infection, her CD4 count, history of opportunistic infections, viral strain, immune integrity, etc. After a complete evaluation, her HIV specialist will be able to give a better assessment of the degree of immunodeficiency and prognosis. Certainly treatment is always "feasible." One other quick comment: Your sister should not breastfeed her newborn daughter, as HIV can be transmitted via breast milk to infants.

Good luck to both your sister and her newborn daughter.

Dr. Bob

RE: thanks to Dr bob & indina worried female (ahem ahem ! . . .actually its WORRIED INDIAN FEMALE) :-))

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