Q and A

Question

My baby is on nevirapine and I’m breastfeeding, is my baby positive?

Answer

Hi there,

Firstly, congratulations on having your baby.

It is normal for your baby to be given a short course (4 weeks) of HIV treatment (such as nevirapine) when born. This doesn’t mean your baby is HIV positive. This will be checked later through testing. A different type of testing is also used on babies as the normal antibody test used in adults will show the baby as positive.

Our guide on pregnancy has lots more information

http://i-base.info/guides/pregnancy

Do you mind me asking if you are taking HIV treatment for your health?

In the UK, the BHIVA (British HIV Association) guidelines recommend bottle feeding.

This is because in countries where mothers can have access to to formula milk AND clean water ANDĀ bottle sterilising equipment, the risk of transmitting HIV to the baby through bottle feeding is zero. There are different recommendations for other countries though and many women breastfeed. I am not sure about the recommendations in Zambia.

This means that you are doing the best that you can to protect your baby.

However, being positive and looking after a new born baby can be hard and many people need help. Do you have much support around you to help or are you touch with good care from your doctor?

164 comments

  1. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Lerato,

    How old is your baby? Are they on formula or breast milk?

  2. Lerato

    Hy I’m HIV possitve and im mixed feeding my baby due to I’m still at School Im giving my baby food and she’s not even 6 months and water is my baby positive I’m worried

  3. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Precious,

    Please don’t worry, it sounds like you’re doing all you can for your baby girl.

    It’s great that you’re taking your HIV meds correctly. But it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor and get the best advice on feeding your baby from them. Your doctor’s advice can help stop you worrying.

    If you live in South Africa you can contact the Treatment Action Campaign for local support. Here’s a link to their contacts page.

  4. Precious

    Hi I had a baby girl and I’m HIV positive and I breastfeed her but I made mistake by giving her a bottle just for an hour I wanted to change her to formula but she likes breast milk so I was forced to continue breastfeeding her is my baby being infected even I’m taking my RX correctly since 2016 I’m worried about her plz help

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