Will my baby need HIV drugs after they are born?

Yes. All baby’s need to take a short course of HIV drugs for the first four weeks of life, if their mother is HIV positive.

This post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) should be started as soon as possible after birth and at least within four hours.

If the mother has been on ART for longer than 10 weeks and has had two undetectable viral load results during pregnancy and at 36 weeks, the baby will be given two weeks of AZT.

Four weeks of AZT is recommended if the mother’s viral load is undetectable at 36 weeks but has not been throughout pregnancy or the baby is premature.

And combination PEP is recomended if the mother’s viral load is >50 HIV copies/mL on day of birth, if there is concern about her adherence or if her viral load is not known.

Last updated: 1 April 2019.