Q and A


What is the life expectancy of a positive baby not on treatment?

My wife and babies are HIV positive.

What is the lifespan if the babies of they are not on medication.


I am sorry about your wife and babies’ diagnosis. Do you both have support? Your wife may find it useful to contact other women living with HIV. Many people living with HIV often find it helpful to talk to others as it it is comforting to know that you are not alone. Support groups are also helpful for sharing experiences  and learning about strategies to cope with living with HIV and bringing up positive children.

Can I ask where you live and whether you have access to medication?

Both PENTA [Paediatric European Network for the treatment of AIDS] and WHO [World Health Organisation] guidelines recommend starting ART [antiretroviral treatment]  for all infants below the age of 12 months. The USA guidelines recommend ART for all infants. For more information on guidelines for treating babies and children, please follow these links to the European, WHO and USA guidelines.

It is very difficult to give you an accurate answer as there is not much data on life expectancy in children. Generally if children are able to cope with the first year of treatment then the outlook is very good. It is therefore important that you try to access treatment for your babies.

With best wishes


  1. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Gabsile,

    Was your daughter ever tested when she was a baby? If she was, what was the result. You’ve said that she was given Nevarapine, how long did she take this for?
    Its not really possible for me to say what your daughters possible status could be as that would mean guessing. Not breastfeeding and having a c-section definitely reduces the risk of transmission. To know for sure, she will need to test. This is important for her health.

    Are you currently on medication?

  2. Gabsile

    Am HIV positive. Had a baby 2005 under c section and was given one doze of Nevarapine before delivery and the baby was given one dose of Nevarapine. I did not breast feed the baby. She is now 13 years old am afraid to test the baby. How much chances do you think the baby has to have the virus?


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