|Abstract||Following a review of the research evidence, this guidance, updated in September 2004, reaffirms existing advice. It is directed to health professionals who advise HIV-infected pregnant women and new mothers and recommends the avoidance of breastfeeding as part of a programme of interventions to reduce the risk of mother-to-child HIV transmission.|
The guidance aims to assist health care professionals to provide the necessary information, advice and support to women who are infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to enable them to make personal, well informed decisions about feeding their baby.
Breastfeeding is an ideal way to feed infants because its benefits go beyond nutrition in that it protects against common childhood diseases and this guidance reviews those risks so that women can be given the evidence of the relative risks and benefits compared to alternatives.
The guidance outlines: -
· Mother to Child HIV transmission and the risk of breastfeeding
· Further information about HIV transmission through breastfeeding
· Collaborative statement from WHO, UNAIDS and UNICEF
· Issues in reaching a decision about breast feeding
· If an HIV-infected woman chooses to breastfeed
Breastfeeding is an important route of HIV transmission to the infant of an HIV-infected mother and this guidance sets out the information needed by HIV-infected pregnant women and new mothers and the healthcare staff who are caring for them to make an informed decision about infant feeding in this situation.