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HIV transmission risk during breast feeding was greatest during the early months of life

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 QUESTION: In HIV positive mothers, what is the risk for HIV infection in their breast feeding infants?


Cohort study with 24 month follow up.


A tertiary care hospital in Blantyre, Malawi.


672 infants who were born to HIV infected women who had not received antiretroviral drugs during pregnancy or after childbirth. Infants had to be HIV negative on the first postnatal visit at 6 weeks of age, be breast fed, and have a second follow up visit.

Assessment of risk factors

Time of infant HIV infection through breast feeding was taken to be the midpoint between the last postnatal negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test result and the first postnatal positive PCR test result. Time at risk for infant HIV infection through breast feeding was the interval between the first postnatal negative PCR …

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  • Source of funding: in part, National Institutes of Health.

  • For correspondence: Dr PG Miotti, NIAID, Division of AIDS, Room 4109, 6700-B Rockledge Drive, MSC 7626, Bethesda, MD 20892-7626, USA. Fax +1 301 402 3211.