Hiv transmission through breast feeding

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Two cases of HIV transmission from mother to infant during the breastfeeding period when mothers had an undetectable viral load have been reported by PROMISE, a large international study of the effectiveness of antiretroviral treatment in preventing vertical HIV transmission. Earlier this year an international group of researchers called for more research to determine if HIV can be transmitted through breast milk even if the breastfeeding mother has an undetectable viral load in blood. Swiss doctors have argued that pregnant women with HIV should be informed of the uncertain evidence about the risk of transmission during breastfeeding, and rather than being prohibited from breastfeeding while taking antiretroviral drugs, should be supported to breastfeed safely through regular viral load testing and education about factors that might increase the risk of transmission, such as mastitis.

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Facts for Life. Health Education To Villages. Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.

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Mother-to-child transmission can occur during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding. The best way to prevent transmission of HIV to an infant through breast milk is to not breastfeed. In the United States, where mothers have access to clean water and affordable replacement feeding infant formulaCDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics External recommend that HIV-infected mothers completely avoid breastfeeding their infants, regardless of ART and maternal viral load.

Recommendations from global health authorities endorse exclusive breastfeeding for all babies for the first six months of life and continued partial breastfeeding for up to two years or beyond. Most HIV-exposed babies are born in places where breastfeeding is the cultural norm and where formula-feeding is particularly unwelcome, unnatural and stigmatising. Current World Health Organization guidance on HIV and infant feeding is clear that for most mothers in most countries, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, followed by continued partial breastfeeding for at least the first year of life will enhance HIV-free child survival. As more is known, an increasing number of HIV-positive mothers in industrialized countries are questioning whether the risk of HIV transmission through breastfeeding is as high as they have been led to believe and, if it is not, they are asking if they, too, can breastfeed.

US recommendations are against breastfeeding — regardless of ART status or viral load — due to the availability of clean water and affordable alternatives to breast milk. Since those recommendations were published, there has been an increase in evidence regarding postnatal transmission risk when mother or child or both are receiving ART. In light of these newer insights, the current investigators conducted a review of the literature to determine the rates of HIV transmission at 6, 9, 12, and 18 months in infants who breastfed for at least 6 months and whose mothers received ART through at least 6 months postpartum.

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Jump to navigation. Hundreds of thousands of children are infected this way every year, with most of them in developing countries. In many resource-rich settings, mothers with HIV infection are counseled not to breastfeed their children, and there are feasible and affordable alternatives to breastfeeding.

Choosing a method for feeding their babies is one of the most important decisions expectant and new parents make. This decision can be even more complicated when the birthing parent is living with HIV. For those who may want to explore breastfeeding as an option, the information available to mothers living with HIV can be confusing.

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Jump to navigation. This is most likely to happen in the last few weeks of pregnancy, during labour, or delivery. However, taking the correct treatment during your pregnancy and while you breastfeed can virtually eliminate this risk.

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Should mothers with HIV be advised not to breastfeed? If families cannot buy sufficient supplies of breastmilk substitutes, they may:. In the 50 poorest developing countries, infant mortality averages over deaths per thousand live births.

Since breast milk can contain HIV, U. Many studies have investigated the issue, with one study of babies born to women with HIV in Zambia finding a more than three-fold increased risk of early postnatal HIV transmission with mixed feeding compared to exclusive breastfeeding. A more recent theory is that women who only breastfeed intermittently are more likely to have engorged breasts and breast inflammation, which increases the amount of virus that they shed in their breast milk.

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