Focus On... Breastfeeding Decisions for Women with HIV: A digest of key resources
This issue of Focus On... is intended to help health care practitioners better understand the current state of knowledge on breastfeeding and HIV transmission. It examines the most recent studies and expert guidance on the topic and provides the key points from recent research trials, literature reviews, and program evaluation studies. For women with HIV, infant feeding decisions are shaped by their access to infant feeding counseling and antiretroviral treatment, on the social stigma surrounding people with HIV, exclusive breastfeeding, and exclusive replacement feeding, on access to clean and safe water and food supplements, and on partner and family support. A woman infected with HIV can pass HIV on to her infant during pregnancy, at the time of labor and delivery, and through breastfeeding. Without treatment, between 15% and 30% of infants born to mothers with HIV become infected with HIV during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. An additional 10% to 20% become infected during breastfeeding depending on how long the infant is breastfed.