1. During pregnancy women infected with HIV usually receive a combination of at least three different anti-HIV medications.
2. During labor and delivery pregnant women infected with HIV receive intravenous AZT.
3. After birth, babies born to women infected with HIV receive liquid AZT for 6 weeks.2
Procedures like intentionally rupturing the amniotic sac to induce labor and episiotomy expose your baby to your blood or fluids. Since the chance of transmission increases if your baby is exposed, your doctor will probably avoid them.
If you haven't received any drug treatments before labor, medication could be offered during labor. Studies suggest that these treatments, even for short durations, may help reduce the risk to the baby. Possible drug regiments include a combination of ZDV and another drug called 3TC or Nevirapine.
Your healthcare provider might suggest a cesarean section, especially if you haven't received medication during pregnancy. If performed before labor or the rupture of membranes, a c-section might significantly reduce the risk of transmission of HIV.
Within six to 12 hours after delivery, babies born to women infected with HIV receive an anti-HIV medication called AZT. AZT helps prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Your baby will continue to receive AZT for 6 weeks.
It's recommended that your baby be tested for HIV at 14 to 21 days, at 1 to 2 months, and again at 4 to 6 months. The HIV tests look directly for the presence of HIV in the blood.
To be diagnosed with HIV, a baby must have positive results from two virological HIV tests. For the baby not to be infected with HIV, the child must have two negative virological HIV tests. The first will be done at 1 month of age or older, and the second at least one month later.
The HIV virus is passed through direct contact with blood and other body fluids. It's not transmitted through hugs. Go ahead and snuggle and enjoy your tiny bundle!
It depends on your situation. The CDC recommends that if breast milk substitutes used with clean water, and affordable healthcare is available, you feed your baby formula.
In some countries, including the United Kingdom and United States, HIV positive mothers who choose to breastfeed could be charged with child endangerment if they persist. You always want to do do what will be safest for your baby, so learn about your options.
HIV-positive women who breastfeed could reduce the risk of transmission by:
1. Breastfeeding exclusively the first six months. It's thought that other foods or fluids added to the baby's diet might cause gut infections that could increase the risk of HIV transmission.4
2. Shortening the duration of breastfeeding. Studies suggest that HIV transmission increases dramatically after 12 months of breastfeeding. Experts recommend a transition from exclusive breastfeeding to formula at about six months.
3. Preventing and promptly treating your baby's oral lesions and your breast problems. If your baby has an oral lesions or you have cracked nipples or mastitis, the risk of transmission is higher.
4. Taking anti-HIV drugs. Several studies are underway to determine the effectiveness of medications while breastfeeding and if they can reduce transmission.
Are you affected by HIV or AIDS? How do you cope? Share your story!
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