The Risk of HIV Transmission During Breastfeeding: A Table of Research Findings
For infants of HIV-positive mothers, emerging evidence suggests that breastfeeding can be made safer if either the mother or the infant takes antiretroviral medication during the period of breastfeeding. Such interventions, combined with the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding (EBF), offer an important opportunity to improve the HIV-free survival of future generations of HIV-exposed infants (WHO, UNAIDS, and UNICEF 2009).
The attached table, “Risk of HIV Transmission during Breastfeeding,” compares the rates of transmission when EBF is practiced both with and without antiretroviral therapy (ART) and highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) of varying drug regimens. The comparison table was constructed by Pamela Morrison, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, and former Breastfeeding and HIV Coordinator for WABA (World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action), Penang, Malaysia.