Thursday, February 10, 2011

Babies born to HIV positive mothers have low levels of antibodies

A recent study found that babies born to HIV positive mothers have significantly lower levels of antibodies against bacterial infections even when the baby does not become infected with HIV. These HIV negative babies born to HIV positive mothers are four times more likely to die before their 5th birthday than babies born to uninfected mothers. However, there could be other variables influencing this outcome in addition to reduced antibody levels. Mothers who are HIV positive may not be able to provide adequate care for their children which could contribute to childhood death. Furthermore, the study was of only 109 HIV infected and uninfected mothers at a community health center so the small sample size may have affected the results.

Hannah Harrison

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