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ARV's and breastfeeding
Jan 4, 2014

My wife gave birth on 25November 2013. Our daughter is on Viromune and exclusive breastfeeding. How long must she be on the ARV and how long on the breast?

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thank you for posting.

A very heartfelt congratulations on the birth of your daughter. From the details of your question, it's evident that you and your family live in a resource-limited country. In such situations (and not here in the US or EU), positive mothers are encourage to breast feed their newborn children. Early and exclusive breastfeeding has been shown to reduce infant disease rates in such places.

The most recent World Health Organization Consolidated Treatment Guidelines recommend that antiretroviral treatment (ART) be given to potentially exposed infants for 6 weeks. Further reduction in risk of transmission of HIV by breastfeeding can be achieved by having the mother (your wife) on triple drug ART as well.

The recommended duration of exclusive breastfeeding varies somewhat based on location and medical organization, but is usually no longer than 6 months.

I hope this is helpful and wish you and your new family good health in the New Year. BY



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