oa South African Health Review - HIV and infant feeding : child health

Volume 2006 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1025-1715



Mother-to-child transmission of HIV can take place in utero, intrapartum and postnatally through breastfeeding. The success and availability of antiretroviral drug interventions that reduce in utero and intrapartum transmission of HIV have shifted the focus to identifying interventions that will reduce postnatal transmission of HIV through breast milk. This chapter reviews the main infant feeding options for HIV-positive women which include replacement feeding or exclusive breastfeeding with early weaning. It looks at the challenge in finding ways to make feeding safer for infants of HIV-positive women, and finding effective strategies for supporting women in their infant feeding choices. Lastly, it reiterates the need for community level interventions that can increase the acceptability of feeding practices that are different from existing norms.

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