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HIV- Mother, HIV+ baby?The Body: Rick Sowadsky M.S.P.H., C.D.S, Answers to Safe Sex Questions

Feb 3, 1997

Suppose that an HIV positive person impregnates an HIV negative woman. Is it possible for the baby to become HIV positive without the mother contracting the virus? I have not heard of any such cases, but I am wondering if it is possible. Thank you for your time!

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi. Thank you for your question.

The HIV virus is transmitted from an infected person directly to the next. If a mother is not infected with HIV, her baby will not be born with it. It CANNOT pass from the man to the baby without infecting the mother first.

The only way for the baby to get infected (if the mother is not infected), is for the baby to have other risk factors for HIV after it is born. An example of this is the baby receiving a blood transfusion. However, the risks of becoming infected from receiving a blood transfusion is very, very small.

If a mother is infected with the virus, there is a 25% chance the baby will become infected. With early medical intervention and treatment, we can bring this down to 8%.

In summary, if the mother is not infected with HIV during her pregnancy, her baby will not be born with the virus, even if the man who impregnated her is positive. The virus can only go from a person who already is infected, directly to the next person, and so on.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).

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