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Pregnancy
Dec 28, 2006

When a HIV positive mother is carrying a baby , on which month of her pregnancy must she starts the treatment? If she is on treatment are there any chances that the baby may be affected if she is not breastfeeding.

Response from Dr. Luzuriaga

Antiretroviral treatment should ideally be started as soon as possible. Many years' experience with several of the antiretrovirals indicates that they are well-tolerated and safe when administered during pregnancy. Antiretroviral therapy can markedly reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to the baby. Women with undetectable viral loads on therapy have less than 1% risk of transmitting the virus to their baby during pregnancy or delivery. HIV can be transmitted through breastfeeding and at present, we do not have an effectve regimen to prevent breastmilk transmission. For this reason, women are advised not to breastfeed whenever they have safe, affordable alternatives to breastfeeding.


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