Intended for healthcare professionals



BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 09 August 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:0-a

Readers may have been seriously confused when Minerva wrote in one of her items that “exclusive breastfeeding is the best way for HIV positive mothers to feed their babies” (BMJ 2007;335:216, 28 Jul, doi: 10.1136/bmj.39283.535926.BD1). It depends, of course, on the circumstances. Current international consensus guidance from the World Health Organization states that exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for HIV infected women for the first six months of life “unless replacement feeding is acceptable, feasible, affordable, sustainable and safe for them and their infants before that time,” in which case, avoidance of all breastfeeding is recommended (

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