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HIV incidence during breastfeeding and mother-to-child transmission in Cape Town, South Africa

le Roux, Stanzi M.a; Abrams, Elaine J.b,c; Nguyen, Kelly K.a; Myer, Landona,d

doi: 10.1097/QAD.0000000000002224
Research Letters

Despite widespread concerns about HIV incidence in pregnant and postpartum women, there are few data from Africa on HIV acquisition in breastfeeding and subsequent mother-to-child transmission. We measured HIV incidence in a prospective cohort of 413 peripartum and breastfeeding women who tested HIV-negative during pregnancy. In 377 woman-years accrued postpartum (median duration of follow-up, 1 year), there were seven women infected after delivery (postpartum incidence, 1.86/100 person-years; 95% confidence interval 0.88–3.89) with transmission to 2/7 (28%) infants.

aDivision of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, School of Public Health & Family Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

bICAP at Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health

cVagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA

dCentre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Research (CIDER), School of Public Health & Family Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.

Correspondence to Stanzi M. le Roux, Division of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Falmouth Building Entrance 5 Level 5, School of Public Health & Family Medicine, Health Sciences Faculty, University of Cape Town, Medical Campus, Anzio Road, Cape Town, South Africa. Tel: +27 82 9258259; fax: +27 086 460 5974; e-mail:

Received 7 December, 2018

Revised 15 February, 2019

Accepted 22 February, 2019

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