New York State law requires blood samples be collected from your baby for conditions such as Phenylketonuria (PKU), low thyroid, and sickle cell disease. These test results are sent to your baby’s doctor.
The samples are also used for HIV screening tests. In the past, the HIV tests were done anonymously, that is, without any name, number or identifying information on the sample. No results of the HIV tests were sent to your child’s doctor or anyone else.
Beginning in the summer of 1996, you can know the results of the HIV screening test. New York State now requires that health care providers offer the mother the choice of knowing the results of baby’s HIV screening test. The State also requires that you receive all the counseling and information you need about HIV. How to decrease the risk to yourself and your baby of getting HIV and how to best take care of yourself and your baby if you are infected with HIV.
A small amount of your baby’s blood will be tested. An HIV test will be performed with or without your baby’s name, depending on the choice you make. It will take about two weeks for the result to come back.
If the test is negative, you and your baby are most likely not infected with HIV. Your doctor and your baby’s doctor will go over the test results with you and counsel you on how to reduce your risk of getting HIV in the future.
If the test is positive, you are most likely infected and special tests are needed to determine if your baby is also infected. You will be counseled on the care you and your baby need to stay healthy longer. If you have HIV, you should stop breastfeeding since long term breastfeeding may infect your baby.
If you have any questions, please ask any of your or your baby’s health care providers.