Review - Document Details

Full Details:

HIV and Infant feeding

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Review - Reviewer's Assessment

1. Short summary / abstract
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.

2. What question is the document addressing?
The guidance provides information on the risks and the evidence available on this issue, and answers the questions that HIV-infected women and new mothers and the healthcare staff looking after them will ask to enable them to make informed decisions on infant feeding.

3. Type of study
Review of national and international evidence

4. Methods valid & appropriate?

HIV-infected women will only be in a position to make decisions about the issues discussed in this guidance if they are aware of their infection status. This guidance highlights the importance of offering an HIV test to all pregnant women as a routine part of antenatal care.

5. Results / recommendations reliable?
Yes: Guidance produced by Chief medical officers Expert Advisory Group on Aids and informed by collaborative statements from the World Health Organisation (WHO), UNAIDS and UNICEF (autumn 2000)

6. Any major problems and biases?
The guidance is not intended to apply in the situation in less developed countries where the risks associated with infant formula milk feeding are much higher.

7. Any other important / relevant studies which confirm or contradict?
1. Hepatitis B: How to Protect your baby (2002) Department of Health 2002
2. Information for midwives – Hepatitis B testing in pregnancy
3. Hepatitis B key documents
4. Hepatitis C key documents
5. HIV key documents

8. Keywords
HIV AIDS breast feeding transmission infant feeding

Reviewer's Details:

Name:Sue Wiseman
Post:Nurse Consultant –Infection Control, DH
(Society / Organisation / Advisory Committee):
Member Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens
Health Protection Adviser Royal College of Nursing P/T
Member Infection Control Nurses Association

*** Note: These are the views of a professional expert rather than an official statement from his or her society, organisation or advisory committee.

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