Early exclusive breastfeeding reduces the risk of postnatl HIV-1 transmission and increases HIV-free survival

Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
AIDS (Impact Factor: 5.55). 05/2005; 19(7):699-708. DOI: 10.1097/01.aids.0000166093.16446.c9
Source: PubMed


The promotion of exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) to reduce the postnatal transmission (PNT) of HIV is based on limited data. In the context of a trial of postpartum vitamin A supplementation, we provided education and counseling about infant feeding and HIV, prospectively collected information on infant feeding practices, and measured associated infant infections and deaths.
A total of 14 110 mother-newborn pairs were enrolled, randomly assigned to vitamin A treatment group after delivery, and followed for 2 years. At baseline, 6 weeks and 3 months, mothers were asked whether they were still breastfeeding, and whether any of 22 liquids or foods had been given to the infant. Breastfed infants were classified as exclusive, predominant, or mixed breastfed.
A total of 4495 mothers tested HIV positive at baseline; 2060 of their babies were alive, polymerase chain reaction negative at 6 weeks, and provided complete feeding information. All infants initiated breastfeeding. Overall PNT (defined by a positive HIV test after the 6-week negative test) was 12.1%, 68.2% of which occurred after 6 months. Compared with EBF, early mixed breastfeeding was associated with a 4.03 (95% CI 0.98, 16.61), 3.79 (95% CI 1.40-10.29), and 2.60 (95% CI 1.21-5.55) greater risk of PNT at 6, 12, and 18 months, respectively. Predominant breastfeeding was associated with a 2.63 (95% CI 0.59-11.67), 2.69 (95% CI 0.95-7.63) and 1.61 (95% CI 0.72-3.64) trend towards greater PNT risk at 6, 12, and 18 months, compared with EBF.
EBF may substantially reduce breastfeeding-associated HIV transmission.

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    • "A low CD4 count is an indicator of high viral load. Others studies had similar findings reporting women with CD4 counts less than 200 cells/μl were five times more likely to transmit HIV during breastfeeding [15,26,27]. Clinical trials have shown a strong positive correlation between maternal HIV viral load during pregnancy or at delivery and the risk of perinatal HIV transmission, even among women treated with ARVs [8]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Zimbabwe is one of the five countries worst affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic with HIV infection contributing increasingly to childhood morbidity and mortality. Among the children born to HIV positive mothers participating in the PMTCT programme, 25% tested positive to HIV. We investigated factors associated with HIV infection among children born to mothers on the PMTCT programme. A 1:1 unmatched case-control study was conducted at Chitungwiza Hospital, Zimbabwe, 2008. A case was defined as a child who tested HIV positive, born to a mother who had been on PMTCT programme. A control was a HIV negative child born to a mother who had been on PMTCT programme. An interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to collect data on demographic characteristics, risk factors associated with HIV infection and immunization status. A total of 120 mothers were interviewed. Independent risk factors associated with HIV infection among children included maternal CD4 count of less than 200 during pregnancy [aOR = 7.1, 95% CI (2.6-17)], mixed feeding [aOR = 29, 95% CI (4.2-208)], being hospitalized since birth [aOR = 2.9, 95% CI (1.2-4.8)] whilst being exclusively breast fed for less than 6 months [aOR = 0.1 (95% CI 0.03-0.4)] was protective. HIV infection among children increased if the mother's CD4 count was <=200 cells/muL and if the child was exposed to mixed feeding. Breastfeeding exclusively for less than six months was protective. We recommended exclusive breast feeding period for the first six months and stop breast feeding after 6 months if affordable, sustainable and safe.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · BMC Public Health
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    • "EBF (defined as feeding an infant no fluids or other feeds other than breast milk for the first six months of the infant’s life) reduces childhood morbidity and mortality from diarrheal diseases [1,2]. In addition, EBF carries a 4-10 fold decreased risk of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV compared to mixed feeding during the infant’s first six months of life [3,4]. The World Health Organization [5] and the Malawi Ministry of Health [6,7] recommend that mothers exclusively breastfeed their children for the first six months of the child’s life as part of prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV. "
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    ABSTRACT: Exclusive breastfeeding is an important component of child survival and prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in resource-poor settings like Malawi. In Malawi, children under the age of six months are exclusively breastfed for an average duration of 3.7 months. This falls short of the recommendations by the World Health Organization as well as the Malawi Ministry of Health that mothers exclusively breastfeed for the first six months of the child's life. Understanding factors that influence exclusive breastfeeding duration among HIV-positive mothers is important in promoting exclusive breastfeeding among these mothers. An exploratory study was therefore conducted to determine factors that influence HIV-positive mothers' prenatal intended duration of exclusive breastfeeding and their likelihood to exclusively breastfeed for six months. This paper is based on data from a longitudinal, descriptive and correlation study that was conducted at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi between May 12, 2009 and March 22, 2010. Theory of Planned Behavior guided the study. A face-to-face survey was utilized to collect data from a convenience sample of 110 HIV-positive mothers who were at least 36 weeks pregnant at baseline. A modified and pre-tested breastfeeding attrition prediction tool was used to measure exclusive breastfeeding beliefs, intentions and external influences at baseline. Data were analyzed using descriptive and association statistics. Additionally, multiple regressions were run to determine significant predictors of HIV-positive mothers' prenatal intended duration of exclusive breastfeeding and their likelihood to exclusively breastfeed for six months. Results revealed high exclusive breastfeeding prenatal intentions among HIV-positive mothers. Prenatal intended duration of exclusive breastfeeding was positively associated with normative, control beliefs and negatively associated with positive beliefs, maternal education and disclosure of HIV status. Current results suggest that assessment of mothers' level of education and their positive beliefs towards exclusive breastfeeding may help to identify mothers who are at risk of discontinuing exclusive breastfeeding. Interventions to promote exclusive breastfeeding could include provision of appropriate skills, support and information to help HIV-positive mothers gain control over exclusive breastfeeding.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
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    • "Exclusively breastfed children have shown to have lower risk of gastrointestinal infections and acute respiratory infection compared to children who were not exclusively breastfed [4-7]. EBF has also shown to reduce the rate of mothers to child transmission of HIV compared to mixed feeding practices [8]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) is a simple and cost-effective intervention to improve child health and survival. Effective EBF has been estimated to avert 13% - 15% of under-five mortality and contribute to reduce mother to child transmission of HIV. The prevalence of EBF for infant less than six months is low in most developing countries, including Tanzania (50%). While the Tanzania Demographic Health Survey collects information on overall EBF prevalence, it does not evaluate factors influencing EBF. The aim of this paper was to determine the prevalence and predictors of exclusive breastfeeding in urban and rural areas in Kilimanjaro region. A population-based cross-sectional study was conducted between June 2010 to March 2011 among women with infants aged 6--12 months in Kilimanjaro. Multi-stage proportionate to size sampling was used to select participants from all the seven districts of the region. A standardized questionnaire was used to collect socio-demographic, reproductive, alcohol intake, breastfeeding patterns and nutritional data during the interviews. Estimation on EBF was based on recall since birth. Multivariable logistic regression was used to obtain independent predictors of EBF. A total of 624 women participated, 77% (483) from rural areas. The prevalence of EBF up to six months in Kilimanjaro region was 20.7%, without significant differences in the prevalence of EBF up to six months between urban (22.7%) and rural areas (20.1%); (OR = 0.7, 95% CI 0.5,1.4).In multivariable analysis, advice on breastfeeding after delivery (Adjusted odds ratio, AOR = 2.6, 95% CI 1.5, 4.6) was positively associated with EBF up to six months. Compared to married/cohabiting and those who do not take alcohol, single mothers (AOR = 0.4, 95% CI 0.2, 0.9) and mothers who drank alcohol (AOR = 0.4, 95% CI 0.3, 0.7) had less odds to practice EBF up to six months. Prevalence of EBF up to six months is still low in Kilimanjaro, lower than the national coverage of 50%. Strengthening of EBF counseling in all reproductive and child health clinics especially during antenatal and postnatal periods may help to improve EBF rates.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · International Breastfeeding Journal
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