Breastfeeding

The World Health Organization (WHO) emphasizes the value of breast milk as the source of optimal nutrition and protection against serious infectious diseases. However, breast milk can transmit HIV, and HIV-positive mothers are advised not to breastfeed. In low-resource settings, formula is not affordable and often prepared with unsafe water. As a result, breastfeeding poses a dilemma for HIV-positive mothers in the global south. The CGHD conducted a clinical trial that showed that early, abrupt cessation of breastfeeding by HIV-infected women does not improve the rate of HIV-free survival among children born to HIV-infected mothers and is harmful to HIV-infected infants.