Background: Routinely the test that we use in HIV screening are HIV rapid test or Enzyme Immuno Assay (EIA), these methods canít accurately diagnose HIV infection in infants up to the age of 18 months. Only way to confirm diagnosis is detection of HIV DNA from the children by nuclear techniques like polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which is not available at the resource limited laboratories. The technique of Dried Blood Spot (DBS) is a simple effective method of sample collection & transport for HIV testing of children below 18 months, especially at resource limited laboratories, which is the part of PPTCT programme. Method : The study group consists of 87 infants born to HIV reactive mothers under the PPTCT programme, at tertiary care center in Ahmedabad, Central Gujarat, India over a period of one year, from May-2010 to April 2011. Earliest DBS collection is recommended at the age of 6 week. Results: Total 87 children were included in the study. Total prevalence of HIV infection in children below 18 month of age is 8%. 2(12.5%) children born to mothers who had not received Nevirapine were tested positive for HIV by DNA PCR. 3 (20%) children became infected with HIV who had not received syrup Nevirapine. Rate of HIV infection in children who were breast fed is 4 (12.5%). 2 (20 %) mothers with CD4+ count less than 200/mm3 transmitted HIV infection to their babies. Conclusion: Ninety percent of the children living with HIV were infected through mother-to-child transmission during pregnancy, around the time of birth or through breast feeding. The technique of Dried Blood Spot (DBS) especially at resource limited laboratories & detection of HIV infection through the most sensitive and specific method PCR in diagnosis of HIV at earliest age, six weeks. Different interventions can be taken to prevent mother to child transmission during pre, intra and postnatal periods.
Dried Blood Spot (DBS), HIV, DNA, Infants