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

https://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?

278 comments

  1. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Charmaine,

    The grip water won’t have any impact on your childs’ possible status. Are they taking ARVs?

  2. Charmaine

    Hi i am hiv positive and breastfeeding recently gave birth my daugher is 10 days old and i gave her 2.5ml of gripe water today and i just realised that it was wrong to do so. Does it mean she is going to be HIV postive after i gave her the dose?

  3. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Queen,

    If you’re no longer going to be breastfeeding it’s unlikely that your baby will need to continue talking nevirapine. However, before you stop giving your baby nevirapine, please discuss this with your babies doctor.

  4. Queen

    Hi my baby is 6 weeks I am switching her to formula milk should I continue to giving her nevirapine suspension

  5. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Mantwa,

    It should be OK to stop giving your baby nevirapine, however before you do this, please consult your childs doctor.

  6. Mantwa

    Hi I stop breastfeeding at 3weeks should I also stop giving my baby a nevirapine

  7. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Asteria,

    Are you breastfeeding? Has your baby been tested?

  8. Asteria

    Hello I’m HIV positive but viral load is undetectable and I have a two month old baby now, I gave him nevirapine for six weeks only then stopped but I somehow realized I should continue to give him until 24 weeks, would he have got infected?

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