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Children exposed to antiretrovirals in the womb
Aug 15, 2009

Fourteen years ago my child was born. During pregnancy I was given AZT - the only effective meds in that era. My child received till 6 weeks after his birth AZT as a syrup. Thank God he tested negative. With my mind at ease on his HIV-status, today I still have some remaining questions. My son for example has a mild blood deviation, somewhat similar to sickle-cell disease. Is it genetic? Due to meds I took...? I don't know and my docs can't tell me. What worries me sometimes are the possible (longterm) effects of these meds I took during pregnancy. Are there any? If yes, which ones have they discovered? Is there any survey/research on these kids? I know many answers concerning children born out of moms with HIV will remain unanswered for the time being, but is there already any information or research on (long-term) effects of prenatal HIV therapy on children?


Response from Dr. Henry

The long term safety of antiretrovirals taken during pregnancy is still a matter of interest and importance. Many of the commonly used drugs such as AZT may have a negative effect on mitochondria in the new born which has been document, is usually mild, and appears to wane with time. There are a number of long term follow-up studies involving HIV- children born to HIV+ women who took antiretroviral meds during pregnancy. In general the results have been reassuring that long term health appears good in those children but more studies and follow-up time is needed as well as information specific to certain drugs. KH

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