Q and A


Will nevirapine protect my baby if my nipples are cracked?

Hi. I’m hiv positive and my baby is on breastfeeding they have me cipla nevirapine to give her and now I’m worried because my nipples are cracked and sore. Does this mean she can catch the virus even when on nevirapine?



Congratulations on your new baby – and great that you are both on treatment. Although you didn;t say this, I assume you are also still on treatment.

Please can you contact your nurse or clinic about your current situation.

Although both you and your babies meds will also reduce the risk of HIV, the nurse needs to see how badly your nipples are cracked.

It might be that moving to formula milk is now more important – but someone needs to see you to talk about this.

Everything will be ok til you see the nurse – your baby still needs to feed – but please do this as soon as you can. If you do not need to change to formula milk, the meds will still give good protection for your baby.


  1. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Sibongile,

    If your baby has a cracked anus they need to see a doctor, this is because the nevarapine isn’t an antibiotic, it’s an ARV.

  2. Sibongile

    Hi there im a mother who live with HIV and taking meds correctly . My baby anus is cracked does the nevarapine can protect him from being infected while breastfeeding?

  3. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Kultwano,

    You are on HIV treatment, and so is your young son. So it sounds like you’re doing all you can.

    But, as previous answers, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor or nurse about feeding him. You can explain to them that you’re not producing enough milk.

    Please ask the doctors about feeding him. Formula milk is not a risk for HIV. But the risk to your baby can increase if you mix feed with both formula and breastmilk.

  4. Kutlwano

    Hey my son is 2weeks and 5days now I am HIV + and on his clinic card they have just written exposed on the HIV block so he is drinking cipla NVP everyday and i am also on treatment. As keeps wanting much more breastmilk which is less and this is affecting his weight since well he drinks less milk due to me not having enough breastmilk and he sleeps alot . I want to change him to formula milk so that he may be fully fed and gain weight. he has been given boiled water and gripe water for hickup , is it possible for me to change him to formula milk and i wanted to know if it won’t anyhow infect him with HIV+?

  5. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Makhosi,

    All babies born to HIV positive mothers should be given a course of ARVs, this is normal practice as the following guide explains: http://i-base.info/guides/pregnancy

  6. Makhosi 27

    Hi I just gave birth on the 5th of September and my baby is safe when I’m breastfeeding and taking Arvis.. But my baby to she’s on neverapin

  7. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Babe,

    Please see this answer to your earlier comment on another Q&A.

    Please see the section in HIV pregnancy and women’s health about delivering your baby.

    But please talk to the doctor about any risk of HIV transmission when the waters break and you have a vaginal delivery. Your doctor is best placed to advise you about your treatment and your baby’s treatment.

  8. Babe

    Hi there my water broke on a Monday but I was not aware that I might be in labour as it was only small amount leaking but if the pad is left on for the whole day it was completely soaked I then went to the clinic on Wednesday and blood was detected in my urine and I went straight to hospital where an internal examination was done and was told that there is no fractured membrane and since I was not in pain that meant I was not in labour and after a test that came back positive (not sure what kind of a test as the fluid was taken and tested) I was sent home contractions then started on Thursday night and eventually went to hospital on Saturday where I missed 1 arv as I was in labour sorry to bother but I keep thinking is there a possibility that my baby might have been infected during the week where my water broke? I read that a child can be infected if the water breaks and it takes long to give birth. VL was undetectable during this time (blood tests were done in April came back undetectable and gave birth in June before other blood tests were supposed to be done in July but took my medication religiously till the day before I gave birth and continued a day after as I was in labour at the time I was meant to take my dose?

  9. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Lorenzo,

    Please can you tell us more? What country do you, and they, live in?

  10. Lorenzo



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