Q and A


Why has my baby been given co-trimoxazole?

My viral load is undetectable and my baby tested negative after birth he was put on nevirapine for 6 weeks. He will test again after 10 weeks. I am using formula. He was then given Co-trimoxazole oral suspension. I would like to know the reason he was given that medication and he is now having a rash after taking it.


Hi, how are you doing?

Congratulations on having a baby.

Co-trimoxazole is not used to treat/prevent HIV. Co-trimoxazole is an antibotic used to prevent other infections that you may be at risk of.

Do you know your CD4 count? If you have a CD4 count lower than 430 you have an increased risk of certain types of infection.

Your baby taking co-trimoxazole can prevent these infections that could be passed on while you are breastfeeding.

Have you mentioned this rash to a doctor? If the rash is being caused by this treatment it will need to be managed by the doctor that prescribed it.



  1. Josh Peasegood

    Hi Jane, congratulations on having a baby. You have done everything right. There is no reason to think baby will be HIV positive.

    Do you know your CD4 count? Often babies are given co-trimoxazole when mum has a lower CD4 count. This can then risk other infections passing on through breastmilk. As you are on treatment with an undetectable viral load it is likely you have a healthy CD4 count. This would explain why baby wasn’t given co-trimoxaole – it is not a treatment used to prevent HIV.

  2. Jane

    Hi, my baby is 8 weeks old and due for test in January. I have been exclusively breastfeeding and my last test result was lower than detectable. I’m feeling a little bit anxious about the next test. Baby was given nevirapine for six weeks but nothing thereafter. Is this safe? Because I see that other babies where given cotrimoxazole and mine wasn’t given any.

  3. Josh Peasegood

    Hi Thandi, it is great to hear how well your treatment is working. As you have a very good CD4 count and viral load and baby is being formula fed, there isn’t much need for baby to be on co-trimoxazole. Has baby had a final test to confirm that they are not HIV positive? After this test co-trimoxazole can be stopped.

  4. Thandi

    My CD4 count is 909 and viral load is 19. From birth i have been giving my baby formula.


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