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detecting aids in newborn
Jun 29, 2003

is there anyway to dectect aids in newborn how early before signs appear in child are any signs of aids at birth if parents havent been tested and dont no if they are infected

Response from Dr. Aberg

There are definitely HIV tests that can be done on a newborn if one suspects HIV or AIDS. BUT, there really should be no reason for the mother not to get tested. Although, HIV testing for mothers is not mandatory, I personally have a very hard time understanding why a woman would refuse to get testing and potentially put her baby at risk of acquiring HIV in countries where HIV therapy is available. The risk of transmitting HIV is less than 1% if the woman's HIV viral load in her blood is undetectable. Enough of my own views and back to your question.

Not all babies who have acquired HIV from their moms have AIDS at birth ad it may not be recognized for months and possibly years. If it is suspected that the mom has HIV, the baby should be tested for HIV within 48 hours. HIV-exposed children (where we know the mother is HIV positive)who have had negative HIV tests at birth and at age one to two months should be retested again at age three to six months. HIV infection is diagnosed by two positive HIV virologic tests performed on separate blood samples.

Again, I would encourage the mom to get tested. If she is negative, then there is no need to worry about the baby being HIV positive.


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