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A 44-year-old member asked:

can a hiv positive mother give birth to a hiv negative child, or does the virus always pass through the umbilical cord?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Martin Raff
Infectious Disease 56 years experience
Not always: Even when mom does not receive antiretrovirals during pregnancy there is only about a 30-50% chance of perinatal infection in the infant. When prophylactic therapy is given this is markedly reduced.
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 46 years experience
Not always: Modern prenatal care of the HIV positive mother works to keep her in good control with the lowest viral load. In this setting less than 5% of newborns will acquire HIV. They are put on HIV meds.They will be monitored closely with blood tests. It can take up to 18 months for transferred maternal antibody to stop interfering with common HIV tests & be sure the kid did not acquire the infection.

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Last updated Jul 25, 2017
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