Understanding International Policy
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HIV and Breastfeeding News

  • Breastfeeding for HIV-Positive Mothers
    Morrison P, Breastfeeding Today, 1 November 2014, pages 20 – 25

  • Health Care for Women International - Letter to the Editor
    Defending Canadian HIV+ mothers' wish to breastfeed - 45% of them are from Africa
    Ms Pamela Morrison & Professor Ted Greiner (2014): DOI: 10.1080/07399332.2014.954705
    published 26 September 2014
    Complimentary copy for colleagues (first 50…)

  • Practice Update: HIV and breastfeeding
    Essentially MIDIRS, the British journal for midwives: August 2014;5(7):38-9, available at page 38
    Morrison P.

  • Exclusive Breastfeeding For More Than 4 Months Lowers Mother-To-Infant HIV Risk
    18 April 2013 | HIV-infected mothers who exclusively breastfeed for more than the first four months of life have a lower risk of transmitting the virus to their babies through their milk.

    The finding came from scientists at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

  • HIV concentrations in breast milk higher at earlier, abrupt weaning
    17 April, 2013 | HIV-infected mothers who breast-fed exclusively longer than the first four months after birth had less risk of transmitting the virus to their babies through their milk, researchers said.

    To test whether breast-feeding routines affect the levels of HIV in breast milk, the researchers tested nearly 1,000 women and their infants in Lusaka, Zambia, over 24 months. The women were divided into two groups – one that weaned their babies abruptly after four months, and one in which the women continued to breast feed as long as they chose.

  • Can we now cure HIV in newborns?
    6 March 2013 | Filed under: Health | Posted by: VibeGhana
    Doctors are reporting that a child born with HIV that was put on an unusually aggressive treatment regimen has been functionally cured of the infection. Using the most sensitive HIV testing available, they were able to find only trace amounts of HIV "particles" but no virus capable of replicating, the research team reported.

    "If there is a trial that shows this can happen again, then this will be very important," said Dr. Karin Nielsen, a pediatrician who specializes in infectious diseases at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine. "You'll be able to treat people very intensively and reverse the disease."

    The news provides no answers for adults living with HIV but it can be a landmark victory in the health of future generations. Every year, 300,000 to 400,000 babies are born infected with HIV according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases.

  • Program to Cut HIV Transfer to Babies Gets High Marks
    1 March 2013 | By Michael Smith, North American Correspondent, MedPage Today
    The African nation of Malawi is getting an A+ for its aggressive approach to preventing HIV transmission from mothers to babies.

    With aid from the U.S., the country's Option B+ plan – giving full triple-drug therapy to all pregnant HIV-positive women regardless of the stage of disease – has dramatically increased the number of women getting therapy, according to the CDC.

    The number of women started on antiretroviral therapy rose more than eight-fold – from 1,257 in the second quarter of 2011 to 10,663 in the third quarter of 2012, a year after Option B+ started, the agency reported in the March 1 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

  • How does breastfeeding protect against HIV?
    8 January 2013 | PLOS Blogs - By Beth Skwarecki
    Share on domaintoolswhoisShare on twitterShare on linkedinShare on facebookMore Sharing Services
    The amazing thing about babies drinking breastmilk from HIV-positive mothers is that they don't always contract HIV.

    Statistics vary, but about 85% of the time, that baby is still HIV-negative when they wean (assuming they were negative at birth). Why? Research has been building up over the last few years to try to tease out the answer to that question, and currently the spotlight is on a family of molecules that are the third-most-abundant in breastmilk (after fat and protein) but that the baby can't digest: sugar-based oligosaccharides.

    OK, I'll back up. If you're reading this from a place where clean water is abundant, and formula is available at the grocery store and you have the money to buy it, you may be wondering why it's an issue at all – why risk that 15% transmission rate when you could just feed the kid formula and not have to worry? Worldwide, that's often not the case. The WHO's current guidelines state that formula should be used only when it is accessible, feasible, affordable, sustainable, and safe; but where that's not guaranteed, mothers should breastfeed if at all possible.

  • Breastfeeding May Protect Infants from HIV Transmission
    15 August 2012 | An international team of researchers has found that certain bioactive components found in human milk are associated with a reduced risk of HIV transmission from an HIV infected mother to her breast-fed infant. Their study will be published in the August 15 online edition of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

  • Breast Milk Kills HIV and Blocks Its Oral Transmission in Humanized Mouse
    14 June 2012 | More than 15 percent of new HIV infections occur in children. Without treatment, only 65 percent of HIV-infected children will live until their first birthday, and fewer than half will make it to the age of two. Although breastfeeding is attributed to a significant number of these infections, most breastfed infants are not infected with HIV, despite prolonged and repeated exposure.



updated 2 November, 2014

World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA)
 

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