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my son
Jun 2, 2004

I'm positive and in March 2003 I gave birth to my son, At the time of delievry my viral load was undetectable. My son was also delivered thru a c-section. For the first 6 wks he was given AZT. I had him tested at 6 weeks, 3months and 6 months and all 3 times his results were negative. When he was tested they tested his PCR. Now at 14 months my son has developed a rash on his right arm and the doctors have no idea what it is so they reguested another HIV test. The results came back as the screen part of the test was showing signs but the western test came back neg. They then spoke to the specialist who tested my son the previous 3 times and he informed tham that that my son can still be carrying some of my antibodies and that is the reason for the rash. They also want to re-test him in a month. I'm losing my mind right now. Can you please let me know if this is possible and what are the chances that my son will become positive now.

Response from Dr. Luzuriaga

Since mothers transfer antibodies to their babies durnig the last 3 months of pregnancy, all babies born at full term to HIV positive women will be HIV antibody positive. Uninfected babies can retain these antibodies through 18-24 months of age. However, in the absence of antiviral therapy, only about 30% of babies will actually acquire HIV infection from their mothers. With an undetectable viral load on therapy and an elective caesarian section, your risk of transmission to your baby is under 1%. If your son has had 3 negative PCR tests and he is not breast-feeding, it is very unlikely that he is infected. Nevertheless, some providers like to re-check antibodies at 18 months, just to be sure that the babies have cleared all maternal antibodies.

Since it is unlikely that your son is infected, the rash is not likely to be HIV-related. You should have your care provider re-evaluate it if it persists.


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