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Early Infant Diagnosis of HIV

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C Perform a DNA or RNA PCR test on a dried bloodspot sample at 4 to 6 weeks of age. If the initial test is POSITIVE, start the infant on anti-retroviral therapy immediately and collect a second blood sample for confirmatory HIV testing.

This answer is correct. Due to the very high mortality rate and rapid progression of pediatric HIV infection, early infant diagnosis with DNA or RNA based testing is recommended as soon as possible and preferably by 4 to 6 weeks of age. The 2010 WHO Guidelines strongly recommend that infants with an initial positive virologic test start antiretroviral therapy without delay. Results should be made available as soon as possible to the infant and mother. A second sample should be drawn to confirm the diagnosis, but medical providers should not wait for this result to initiate antiretroviral therapy for the infant.

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