HIV and your child

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Learn how children get HIV, how it affects their bodies, and what you need to do as a parent to keep your child as healthy as possible.

Key points

  • Children can get HIV from their mothers during pregnancy, at birth or through breastfeeding, through blood or blood products that are infected with HIV, or through infected needles or surgical equipment.
  • When a child has HIV, the virus takes over and destroys certain types of white blood cells that fight infection and weakens the immune system.
  • In Canada, children with HIV can live healthy, normal lives if they go to their clinic regularly for health care and take their medicines as prescribed.
  • Many problems can be prevented with medicine if the HIV infection is found early.
  • Your health-care team will work with you, and support you and your child to stay healthy and grow to adulthood.
Last updated: December 18th 2013