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Breastfeeding and hiv
Feb 20, 2014

Im 31 weeks pregnant n hiv+ m on aluvia n lodiz treatment,m gona gv brth thru csection.i wanna knw if itl b safe to breastfeed my son when hs born or its bst if i dnt?pls ansa

Response from Ms. Southall

Hi Breast feeding is not recommended for HIV positive moms. Being on treatment is a great thing both for preventing transmission during your pregnancy to the child but afterwards as well. I know that cultural aspects play a huge role in breastfeeding and being seen as a good mom. The other way to look at it by not breastfeeding you are providing a healthy life for your child. There a few studies going on right now on breast feeding with an undetectable viral load but until the studies are complete it's hard to say yes or no.

In the research conducted so far, there have been no recorded HIV transmissions among heterosexual couples where the HIV-positive partner is on treatment and their blood viral load is undetectable. However, this does not mean the risk through condomless sex is zero. All of the couples studied to date have also reported using condoms often. This makes it difficult to determine the risk of HIV transmission when no condom is used.

Although there have been no studies among gay men and other MSM, there has been one report of HIV transmission occurring between two men when the HIV-positive partner had an undetectable viral load.

Also, the risk of HIV transmission when the viral load is undetectable may not be the same for all types of sex. This risk may be higher for anal sex than for vaginal sex, particularly if the HIV-negative partner is the receptive partner (bottom) during anal sex. This is because receptive anal sex generally carries a higher baseline HIV risk than other types of sex.

I know the above information is focused on sex but you could see how it would correlate to breast feeding.

This is definitely your choice, I would talk to your health care provider and your OB provider for more information.

Be well and stay safe, Shannon



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