Should HIV-positive mothers breastfeed?

January 15, 2007

In an ideal world, the answer is no, as breast milk transmission of HIV contributes substantially to infant infection. However, in the same developing countries where the majority of HIV mother-to-child transmission takes place, breast milk is often considered the only safe and nutritious food for infants. This makes for difficult recommendations, and additional research is needed. A new study conducted by Renaud Becquet and colleagues in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, and reported in PLoS Medicine shows that if HIV-positive mothers are well supported, either of the two feeding options currently recommended (formula-only feed, or short-term breastfeeding) are likely to be equivalent in terms of the baby's chances for survival and health. In an accompanying Perspective, Grace John-Stewart discusses the implications of these results for HIV-positive mothers in developing countries and their health care providers.
-end-
Citation: Becquet R, Bequet L, Ekouevi DK, Viho I, Sakarovitch C, et al. (2007) Two-year morbidity-mortality and alternatives to prolonged breast-feeding among children born to HIV-infected mothers in Côte d'Ivoire. PLoS Med 4(1): e17.

PLEASE ADD THE LINK TO THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT: http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0040017
PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-04-01-becquet.pdf

CONTACT:

Renaud Becquet
INSERM unité 593
Insitut de Santé Publique Epidémiologie et Développement (ISPED)
Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2
146 rue Léo Saignat
Bordeaux, 33076 France
+33557574535
+33556240081 (fax)
renaud.becquet@isped.u-bordeaux2.fr

Related PLoS Medicine Perspective article:

Citation: Grace C. John-Stewart (2007) When is replacement feeding safe for infants of HIV-infected women? PLoS Med 4(1): e30.

PLEASE ADD THE LINK TO THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT: http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0040030
PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-04-01-stewart.pdf

CONTACT:

Grace John-Stewart
University of Washington
Seattle, Washington, United States of America
+1 206 543-4278
gjohn@u.washington.edu

About PLoS Medicine

PLoS Medicine is an open access, freely available international medical journal. It publishes original research that enhances our understanding of human health and disease, together with commentary and analysis of important global health issues. For more information, visit http://www.plosmedicine.org

All works published in PLoS Medicine are open access. Everything is immediately available without cost to anyone, anywhere--to read, download, redistribute, include in databases, and otherwise use--subject only to the condition that the original authorship is properly attributed. Copyright is retained by the authors. The Public Library of Science uses the Creative Commons Attribution License.

About the Public Library of Science

The Public Library of Science (PLoS) is a non-profit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource. For more information, visit http://www.plos.org

PLOS

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