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Breast feeding safer than mixed feeding for babies of mothers with HIV

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.322.7285.512/e (Published 03 March 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:512
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. London

    Among mothers infected with HIV, infants exclusively breast fed for three months or more have no excess risk of HIV infection over six months than those who have never been breast fed, according to latest research. The results could have important implications for public health policy in developing countries, where the total avoidance of breast feeding is not a realistic option for the vast majority of women.

    Anna Coutsoudis from the department of paediatrics and child health at the University of Natal in South Africa carried out a prospective cohort study involving 551 pregnant women infected with HIV who chose whether to breast feed exclusively, use formula feed exclusively, or carry out mixed feeding after being counselled (AIDS 2001;15:379-87).

    In 1999 …

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