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Caring for HIV-Exposed Children in the First Year of Life

Categories Car, Caring, Child, Children, Hiv, Life

Essay, Pages 3 (696 words)



Essay, Pages 3 (696 words)

In my current job I work in a Newborn Intensive Care Unit. Working with post-partum mothers and infants as a nurse is my ultimate career goal. I chose this article because of my interest in infants and mothers and my desire to learn more about the advances that have been made in the treatment of human immunodeficiency viruses. With advancements in the care of patients with HIV, mothers who are HIV positive can give birth to HIV negative children.

Summary of Article

According the Centers for Disease Control (as cited by David, 2018, p.

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289) there are almost 8, 500 HIV positive women who give birth every year in the United States. With proper care and treatment, less than two percent of their children will contract HIV (Harding, Kwong, Roberts, Hagler & Reinisch, 2020, p. 225). These children and their families require special care to prevent future health complications. These include testing, prophylaxis and infection prevention (David, 2018, p. 289). Infants who are prenatally exposed to HIV require testing throughout their first months of life.

Specific testing is performed over the first six months to ensure the child is HIV negative (David, 2018, p. 289). Tests performed after the first month of age and after 4 months of age must both be negative to confirm a negative HIV status (David, 2018, pp. 289-290).

Preventative treatment can also prevent complications for HIV-exposed children. Prophylactic drug therapy is initiated during pregnancy and after birth to reduce the risk of transmission (David, 2018, p. 290). HIV-exposed children are at greater risk of contracting preventable infections due to the reduction of the passive immunity they acquire from their mother (David, 2019, p.

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290). Jones, et al. (As sighted by David, 2018, p. 290) recommended that these children be immunized on a routine schedule. Although breastmilk is usually the recommended nutrition for children under one year of age, HIV positive mothers are discouraged from breastfeeding due to the risk of transmission (David, 2018, p. 290).

Prevention of infection is also a major concern with HIV-exposed infants. These infants are especially susceptible to group B streptococcus, pertussis, tuberculosis and pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (David, 2018, p. 291). Not only are these children at greater risk of contracting these infections, they also have a greater risk of complications and extended hospitalization (David, 2018, p. 291).

Clinical Practice Application

Preventing infection in women is the best way to prevent the transmission of infection to infants (Harding, et al., 2020, p. 225). Patients should be assessed for behaviors that would put them at risk of infection (Harding, et al., 2020, p. 222). HIV can be transmitted via sexual contact, contact with blood or from mother to child in the womb, during birth, or breastfeeding (Harding, et al., 2020, p.217). Students nurses can provide education to women at risk for contracting HIV about safe sex practices and pregnancy prevention (Harding, et al., 2020, p. 225). Women who are infected with HIV and become pregnant should be informed of the benefits of implementing antiretroviral therapy (Harding, et al., 2020, p. 225). This article provided a lot of helpful information about the care of HIV positive children. In addition, these principles can be applied to caring for any at-risk children. Immunization, Nurses play an essential role in the education of parents of HIV-exposed children (David, 2018, p. 292). Before postpartum discharge from the hospital, nurses can ensure


Caring for HIV positive children of HIV positive mother’s is a new phenomenon entirely linked to the improvement of the treatment and management of HIV.


David, S. P. (2018). Care for HIV-exposed children in the first year of life. Pediatric Nursing, 44(6), 289. Retrieved from Harding, Mariann, Dottie Roberts, Courtney Reinisch, Debra Hagler, Jeffrey Kwong. Lewis’s Medical-Surgical Nursing: Assessment and Management of Clinical Problems (11th ed.) . St. Louis, MO: Elsivier.

Wisconsin Department of Health Services Format each entry with hanging indent. This is done when you format the paragraph in the document. If you have questions, see the writing lab or me. If you have multiple references they should be listed alphabetically by the author last names. The web link for some reference pages is on the following link

Cite this essay

Caring for HIV-Exposed Children in the First Year of Life. (2016, Sep 27). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/caring-for-hiv-exposed-children-in-the-first-year-of-life-essay

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