HIV and Breastfeeding in Malawi
- "HIV Transmission Through Breast Feeding"
Journal of the American Medical Association (08/25/99) Vol. 282,
No. 8, P. 744; Miotti, Paolo G.; Taha, Taha E.T.; Kumwenda,
Newton I.; et al.
A multicenter team studied the risk of HIV transmission through
breastfeeding in 672 infants born to HIV-infected women in Malawi
who had not received antiretroviral therapy during or after
pregnancy. The prospective cohort study was conducted between
1994 and 1997, with follow-up for 24 months. Reporting in the
August 25 Journal of the American Medical Association, the
researchers found that risk of HIV transmission is highest during
the early months of breastfeeding. A total of 47 babies
contracted HIV while breastfeeding; none were infected after
breastfeeding was stopped. According to the researchers, "The
cumulative risk of infection for infants continuing to breastfeed
after month 1 was 3.5 percent at the end of 5 months, 7.0 percent
at the end of 11 months, 8.9 percent at the end of 17 months, and
10.3 percent at the end of 23 months."
Elizabeth Bell MPH
Behavioral Interventions and Research Branch
Division of STD Prevention
National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
"This last phase of the program is like the last mile of the marathon. ...
If any one country fails, the world fails."
-- Dr. Uton Muchtar Rafei of the World Health Organization, on what is
planned to be the final push to eradicate polio in India by the end of 2000.