Moms, Kids and AIDS

Can testing and treatment before and after birth help thousands of youngsters threatened by HIV?

It is a simple test in which a dollop of blood is drawn from a baby's tiny heel and taken to a lab for analysis. The result could provide reassurance -- or a death sentence. In most states all newborns are screened to see if they have antibodies to HIV, the virus that causes aids. In about 7,000 U.S. cases a year, the test is positive, which merely indicates that antibodies produced in the mother's blood have moved to the child during pregnancy. But the implications are grim: the mother is infected with the virus for sure, and there is a...

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