Q and A

Question

How many tests are needed to know if a baby is negative?

Answer

Hi

This is likely to be different in different countries and also depending on the risk to the baby

In the UK the baby is tested at birth, 6 weeks and 12 weeks using a test similar to viral load. The test name is HIV DNA PCR. If these tests are negative and the baby has not further risk, then the baby does not have HIV.

HIV antibody tests are not used because a baby keeps the mother’s antibodies for the first 18-24 months. So testing positive using an antibody test doesn’t mean anything until 18 to 24 months old.

Please ask your doctor about how this is tested in your country.

hi how many test should be taken of a child to know that she is still HIV negative

57 comments

  1. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Anonymous,

    In the UK where i-base are based, we introduce solids to babies when they’re 6 months old. However, 5 might be OK. As your babies already tested negative twice, it’s very unlikely that this will change.

  2. anonymous

    hi my baby tested negative twice. after birth and when hr was 12 weeks and he is still on ilvitrim and I’m breastfeeding him . .now he is 5months and my family is giving him soft porridge .should I be worried?

  3. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Prudence,

    First, congratulations on news of your young baby boy. It’s great that you started ARVs when you were pregnant. So it sounds like you’re doing all you can for him.

    But the answer to the best way to feed your baby can depend on the country you live in. Usually, if a mother is breastfeeding, it’s recommended to breastfeed exculsively for six months. And then baby can be weaned onto a soft diet.

    But please talk to your doctor about feeding your baby. Your doctor can give you the best advice.

  4. Prudence

    M HIV positive and i started to take ARVs when my pregnancy was 6 months but thing is m breastfeeding him now he is 11 months must i remove him from breast milk or what i don’t know what to do i don’t want my baby to be infected

  5. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Lerato,

    It’s great that your viral load is undetectable. It sounds like your HIV meds are working well. You are doing all you can to protect your baby. And it’s good news that she tested negative at 6 weeks.

    But as you can see from Simon’s answer above, here in the UK another viral load test for your baby needs to be done at 12 weeks.

    Please ask your doctor about how this is tested in your country.

  6. Lerato

    I’m HIV positive and my viral load is lower than detectable but I’m breastfeeding can if my baby is tested negative in 6 weeks does that mean she is out of danger??

  7. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Carol,

    Even if you’ve been taking ARVs for many years you will still test antibody positive to HIV. Your immune system produces antibodies to help you fight all infections, including HIV.

    The amount of HIV in the blood is dramatically reduced by ARVs. So that means HIV can’t be detected. But you will still test antibody positive. Here’s a link to an updated Q&A.

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