Skip Navigation LinksHome > May 2010 - Volume 13 - Issue 3 > Feeding of infants of HIV-positive mothers
Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care:
doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e328337321a
Paediatrics: Edited by Berthold V. Koletzko and Raanan Shamir

Feeding of infants of HIV-positive mothers

Saloojee, Haroona; Cooper, Peter Ab

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Abstract

Purpose of review: To highlight recent research that has contributed to an improved understanding of, or resulted in, important changes in the approach to feeding HIV-exposed infants.

Recent findings: The administration of antiretroviral therapy to a HIV-positive pregnant woman and its continued use during breast-feeding significantly reduce postnatal HIV transmission to her child. Similarly, extended antiretroviral prophylaxis to the breast-feeding infant dramatically decreases HIV transmission and promotes HIV-free child survival. Predominant breast-feeding may be as effective as exclusive breast-feeding in reducing HIV transmission risk. The protective role of immune modulators such as interferon-gamma and interleukin-15 in preventing breast milk transmission is being better appreciated. Although infant-feeding counseling is critical to the success of infant survival strategies, it is generally done poorly with few examples of successful consequences other than in research settings.

Summary: Breast-feeding of HIV-exposed infants can be made considerably safer in resource-constrained settings through the provision of maternal highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), maternal short-course antiretrovirals, and extended infant antiretroviral prophylaxis.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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