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Risk for mother to child HIV-1 infection was increased by breast feeding

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 QUESTION: In the infants of HIV-1 infected women, does formula feeding instead of breast feeding reduce the rate of HIV-1 transmission and mortality?


Randomised (allocation concealed*), blinded (investigators to interim results),* controlled trial with 2 year follow up.


4 antenatal clinics in Nairobi.


425 HIV-1 infected pregnant women (mean age 23 y) who resided in Nairobi and had access to municipally treated water. 401 mother-infant pairs (94%) were included in the analysis.


Women were allocated to breast feed (n=212) or formula feed (n=213) their infants. Women in the formula feed group were told to feed their infant with a cup and had to demonstrate proper formula preparation and cup feeding to a visiting nurse.

Main outcome measures

Infant HIV-1 infection and mortality …

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  • Source of funding: National Institutes of Health.

  • For correspondence: Dr J Kreiss, Box 359931, Harborview Medical Center, 325 Ninth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104-2499, USA. Fax +1 206 731 2427.

  • * See glossary.