Testing babies for HIV is done after birth. Most babies born to infected mothers will initially test positive for HIV antibodies. Babies when they are first born take on their mother's antibodies, which is why many babies when first tested after birth will test positive. This doesn't necessarily mean your baby is positive. To determine your baby's actual HIV status, doctors will recommend several tests. These HIV tests will look for the virus itself and not just the HIV antibodies. The first test will be administered at your baby's birth. Follow up tests are  administered at two weeks, four to six weeks and after three months. If babies are infected with HIV, their own immune system will start to make antibodies. These babies will continue to test positive meaning they are HIV infected. If the baby receives at least two negative tests results after one month of age, your baby is not infected. If the baby is not infected, the mother's antibodies will disappear and the baby will begin to create its own antibodies. Your baby will be tested again about twelve to eighteen months later to confirm all HIV antibodies have cleared.

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The New Face of HIV

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