When will my baby be tested for HIV?

If you are positive you will need to test your baby many times to confirm there in no HIV transmission. 

* Your baby will be tested at 6 weeks 

* She will be tested again 6 weeks after you stop breastfeeding

* She needs a final test at 18 months

Any child under the age of 18 months must have an HIV-DNA test (PCR), as maternal antibodies can still persist in the baby’s blood up until this time. Usually this is done with a dried-blood-spot (DBS) by pricking the baby’s heel and applying 3 drops of blood to a special laboratory card. It is sent to the laboratory and the result is usually available within 7 days.

After 18 months you can perform an antibody test (rapid HIV test or ELISA).

Even if the child has tested negative for all previous tests, the 18 month test must still be done.


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