Breast feeding lowers HIV risk

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Breast feeding lowers HIV risk
Tue, 08-20-2013 - 6:20pm

Did you know? "WHO recommends that all mothers, regardless of their HIV status, practice exclusive breast feeding—which means no other liquids or food, are given—in the first six months." New research suggests babies born to mothers with HIV have a higher percentage of contracting HIV when they are not exclusively breastfed.

Exclusively breast-fed babies whose mothers are HIV positive have a lower percentage of contracting HIV from their mothers, compared to those who are not breast-fed for the first six months.

According to experts, the risk of transmission for babies who are breast-fed is 4 per cent, while those who are not is 10 times more.

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Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Tue, 08-20-2013 - 10:55pm

The question was asked:

Is the WHO recommendation for ALL countries, or for countries where a reliable, clean source of water/formula is not readily and easily available on a routine basis? I've only ever seen it recommended for the latter.

The reply:

The WHO applies for all countries, not just the developing world. That being said, this resource from World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) offers excellent information on current research.

  • "Recent research shows that HIV-positive mothers who receive effective ARVs, protecting their own health sufficiently to result in a near-normal life-span, can also expect that the risk of transmission of HIV to their babies during pregnancy, birth, and throughout the recommended period of breastfeeding, can be close to zero.

    Where ARVs are available, it is recommended that HIV-positive mothers breastfeed until their babies are 12 months of age.

    With proper treatment, an infected mother’s viral load becomes undetectable, not only protecting her own health and survival, but also reducing to virtually zero the risk of her baby acquiring HIV through her breastmilk."