Medicines to Prevent HIV in Babies: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

Doctors recommend that babies whose mothers have HIV be treated with medicines. This helps to keep the babies from getting HIV. Even when babies test negative for HIV at birth, they may have been exposed to the virus during the birth. Treatment can keep the baby from getting infected.

Your baby should start to get some anti-HIV medicine after birth. He or she will keep getting treatment for the next 6 weeks. Your baby should also get medicine to prevent other infections, such as pneumonia. This treatment may not start as soon as the anti-HIV treatment.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?

  • Be safe with medicines. Have your child take medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think your child is having a problem with his or her medicine. You will get more details on the specific medicines your doctor prescribes.
  • After you give birth, keep taking your anti-HIV medicine. Don't stop unless your doctor tells you to. It is important that you stay healthy so you can take the best possible care of your baby.
  • Do not breastfeed your baby unless your doctor tells you to. Babies can get HIV through breast milk.
  • Be sure your baby gets all the tests your doctor recommends.

The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.