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author:("maiya, maiya")
1.  Human Milk Galectin-3 Binding Protein and Breastfeeding-Associated HIV Transmission 
Analysis of milk from 247 HIV-infected Zambian mothers showed that Galectin-3 Binding Protein (Gal3BP) concentrations were significantly higher among HIV-infected mothers who transmitted HIV through breastfeeding (6.51±2.12 ug/mL) than among non-transmitters but were also correlated with higher milk and plasma HIV RNA copies/ml and lower CD4+ cell counts. The association between Gal3BP and postnatal transmission was attenuated after adjustment for milk and plasma HIV load and CD4+ cell counts. This suggests that although milk Gal3BP is a marker of advanced maternal disease, it does not independently modify transmission risk.
doi:10.1097/INF.0b013e3182a6e0a8
PMCID: PMC3907473  PMID: 23899964
HIV transmission; breastfeeding; Galectin-3 Binding Protein; oral transmission
2.  Pregnancy loss and role of infant HIV status on perinatal mortality among HIV-infected women 
BMC Pediatrics  2012;12:138.
Background
HIV-infected women, particularly those with advanced disease, may have higher rates of pregnancy loss (miscarriage and stillbirth) and neonatal mortality than uninfected women. Here we examine risk factors for these adverse pregnancy outcomes in a cohort of HIV-infected women in Zambia considering the impact of infant HIV status.
Methods
A total of 1229 HIV-infected pregnant women were enrolled (2001–2004) in Lusaka, Zambia and followed to pregnancy outcome. Live-born infants were tested for HIV by PCR at birth, 1 week and 5 weeks. Obstetric and neonatal data were collected after delivery and the rates of neonatal (<28 days) and early mortality (<70 days) were described using Kaplan-Meier methods.
Results
The ratio of miscarriage and stillbirth per 100 live-births were 3.1 and 2.6, respectively. Higher maternal plasma viral load (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] for each log10 increase in HIV RNA copies/ml = 1.90; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.10–3.27) and being symptomatic were associated with an increased risk of stillbirth (AOR = 3.19; 95% CI 1.46–6.97), and decreasing maternal CD4 count by 100 cells/mm3 with an increased risk of miscarriage (OR = 1.25; 95% CI 1.02–1.54). The neonatal mortality rate was 4.3 per 100 increasing to 6.3 by 70 days. Intrauterine HIV infection was not associated with neonatal morality but became associated with mortality through 70 days (adjusted hazard ratio = 2.76; 95% CI 1.25–6.08). Low birth weight and cessation of breastfeeding were significant risk factors for both neonatal and early mortality independent of infant HIV infection.
Conclusions
More advanced maternal HIV disease was associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. Excess neonatal mortality in HIV-infected women was not primarily explained by infant HIV infection but was strongly associated with low birth weight and prematurity. Intrauterine HIV infection contributed to mortality as early as 70 days of infant age. Interventions to improve pregnancy outcomes for HIV-infected women are needed to complement necessary therapeutic and prophylactic antiretroviral interventions.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-12-138
PMCID: PMC3480840  PMID: 22937874
Perinatal mortality; Infant mortality; Risk factors; Adverse pregnancy outcome; HIV infection; Vertical transmission
3.  Early Weaning Increases Diarrhea Morbidity and Mortality Among Uninfected Children Born to HIV-infected Mothers in Zambia 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2011;203(9):1222-1230.
Background. Early weaning may reduce human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission but may have deleterious consequences for uninfected children. Here we evaluate effects of early weaning on diarrhea morbidity and mortality of uninfected children born to HIV-infected mothers.
Methods. HIV-infected women in Lusaka, Zambia, were randomly assigned to breastfeeding for 4 months only or to continue breastfeeding until the mother decided to stop. Replacement and complementary foods were provided and all women were counseled around feeding and hygiene. Diarrhea morbidity and mortality were assessed in 618 HIV-uninfected singletons alive and still breastfeeding at 4 months. Intent-to-treat analyses and comparisons based on actual feeding practices were conducted using regression methods.
Results. Between 4 and 6 months, diarrheal episodes were 1.8-fold (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.3–2.4) higher in the short compared with long breastfeeding group. Associations were stronger based on actual feeding practices and persisted after adjustment for confounding. At older ages, only more severe outcomes, including diarrhea-related hospitalization or death (relative hazard [RH], 3.2, 95% CI, 2.1–5.1 increase 4–24 months), were increased among weaned children.
Conclusions. Continued breastfeeding is associated with reduced risk of diarrhea-related morbidity and mortality among uninfected children born to HIV-infected mothers in this low-resource setting despite provision of replacement and complementary food and counseling.
 Clinical Trials Registration. NCT00310726.
doi:10.1093/infdis/jir019
PMCID: PMC3069726  PMID: 21459815
4.  Lactation-associated postpartum weight changes among HIV-infected women in Zambia 
Background There are concerns about effects of lactation on postpartum weight changes among HIV-infected women because low weight may increase risks of HIV-related disease progression.
Methods This analysis of postpartum maternal weight change is based on a trial evaluating the effects of shortened breastfeeding on postpartum mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Lusaka, Zambia, in which 958 HIV-infected women were randomized to breastfeed for a short duration (4 months) or for a duration of their own informed choosing (median 16 months). Among 768 women who met inclusion criteria, we compared across the two groups change in weight (kg) and the percent underweight [body mass index (BMI) <18.5] through 24 months. We also examined the effect of breastfeeding in two high-risk groups: those with low BMI and those with low CD4 counts.
Results Overall, women in the long-duration group gained less weight compared with those in the short-duration group from 4–24 months {1.0 kg [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.3–1.7] vs 2.3 kg (95% CI: 1.6–2.9), P = 0.01}. No association was found between longer breastfeeding and being underweight (odds ratio 1.1; 95% CI: 0.8–1.6; P = 0.40). Effects of lactation in underweight women and women with low CD4 counts were similar to the effects in women with higher BMI and higher CD4 counts. Women with low baseline BMI tended to gain more weight from 4 to 24 months than those with higher BMI, regardless of breastfeeding duration (2.1 kg, 95% CI: 1.3–2.9; P < 0.01).
Conclusions In this study of HIV-infected breastfeeding women in a low-resource setting, the average change in weight from 4 to 24 months postpartum was a net gain rather than loss. Although longer duration breastfeeding was associated with less weight gain, breastfeeding duration was not associated with being underweight (BMI < 18.5). Weight change associated with longer breastfeeding may be metabolically regulated so that women with low BMI and at risk of wasting are protected from excess weight loss.
doi:10.1093/ije/dyq065
PMCID: PMC2972438  PMID: 20484334
Breast feeding; lactation; HIV infections; weight loss; metabolism; body mass index
5.  Potential impact of new World Health Organization criteria for antiretroviral treatment for prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission 
AIDS (London, England)  2010;24(9):1374-1377.
We reviewed the potential impact of new World Health Organization criteria for antiretroviral therapy using data from 1025 HIV-infected women and infants followed through 24 months in Lusaka, Zambia. The new criteria require initiating therapy among 68% of pregnant women and, if fully effective, would prevent 92% of maternal deaths and 88% of perinatal and postnatal infections. Using CD4 <350 cells/uL, irrespective of clinical stage, is more efficient and stricter CD4 cut-offs would be counter-productive.
PMCID: PMC2946203  PMID: 20568677
6.  Elevations in mortality due to weaning persist into the second year of life among uninfected children born to HIV-infected mothers 
Background
Early weaning has been recommended to reduce postnatal HIV transmission. We evaluated the safety of stopping breastfeeding at different ages for mortality of uninfected children born to HIV-infected mothers.
Methods
During a trial of early weaning, 958 HIV-infected mothers and their infants were recruited and followed from birth to 24 months in Lusaka, Zambia. Half of the cohort was randomized to wean abruptly at 4 months and the other half to continue breastfeeding. We examined associations between uninfected child mortality and actual breastfeeding duration investigating possible confounding and effect modification.
Results
The mortality rate among 749 uninfected children was 9.4% by 12 months and 13.6% by 24 months. Weaning during the interval encouraged by the protocol (4-5 months) was associated with a 2.03-fold increased risk of mortality (95% CI: 1.13 - 3.65), weaning 6-11 months a 3.54-fold increase (95% CI: 1.68 - 7.46) and 12-18 months a 4.22-fold increase (95% CI: 1.59 - 11.24). Significant effect modification was detected such that risks associated with weaning were stronger among infants born to mothers with higher CD4 counts (>350 cells/mL).
Conclusion
Shortening the normal duration of breastfeeding for uninfected children born to HIV-infected mothers living in low resource settings is associated with significant increases mortality extending into the second year of life. Intensive nutritional and counseling interventions reduce, but do not eliminate, this excess mortality.
doi:10.1086/649886
PMCID: PMC2805776  PMID: 20047479
7.  Mortality and virologic outcomes following access to antiretroviral therapy among a cohort of HIV-infected women who received single-dose nevirapine in Lusaka, Zambia 
Objectives
Single-dose nevirapine (SDNVP) for prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission selects mutations conferring resistance to non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI)-based therapy. We investigated mortality and virologic and clinical outcomes following introduction of antiretroviral treatment (ART) among a cohort of women given SDNVP.
Methods
When ART programs were introduced in 2004 in Lusaka, Zambia, we were completing a trial of infant feeding which involved following HIV-infected women who received SDNVP between 2001 and 2005. Women still in follow-up or who could be contacted were evaluated for eligibility for ART (CD4 count <200 or <350 and WHO stage ≥ 3) and started on NNRTI-based therapy if eligible. We compared mortality in the cohort of women before and after ART access, and examined, among women initiating ART, whether virologic response was better allowing a longer time to elapse between SDNVP and treatment initiation.
Results
In the cohort of 872 women, mortality more than halved after ART became available (relative hazard [RH] = 0.46 95% CI: 0.23–0.91 p=0.03). Of 161 SDNVP-exposed women followed on NNRTI-based ART, 70.8% suppressed (viral load <400 copies/ml). Only 3/8 (37.5%) women SDNVP-exposed <6 months of starting therapy suppressed compared to 13/22 (59.1%) who started 6–12 months, 44/61 (72.1 %) 12–24 months, and 54/70 (77.1%) >24 months post-exposure (chi-square trend p=0.01).
Conclusions
Most SDNVP-exposed women respond well to NNRTI-based therapy but there was an attenuation of therapy efficacy that persisted to 12 months after exposure. Women should be screened for ART eligibility during pregnancy and started on effective regimens before delivery.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e3181ab6d5e
PMCID: PMC2782481  PMID: 19506483
8.  Temporal and Lateral Dynamics of HIV Shedding and Elevated Sodium in Breast Milk Among HIV-Positive Mothers During the First 4 Months of Breast-Feeding 
Objective
To better understand the dynamics of breast milk HIV shedding and its relation to postnatal HIV transmission, we investigated the temporal and lateral relations of breast milk viral shedding and sodium concentrations in HIV-positive women.
Design
This was a longitudinal cohort study in Lusaka, Zambia.
Method
We examined patterns of HIV shedding in breast milk over the first 4 months of breast-feeding and their correlations with postnatal HIV transmission among 138 breast-feeding mothers. Sodium concentration in breast milk was also examined in the same samples and in breast milk from 23 HIV-negative controls.
Results
Higher breast milk viral load at 1 week, 1 month, and 4 months and consistent viral shedding in breast milk were significantly associated with increased risk of HIV transmission. Elevated breast milk sodium concentration ($13 mmol/L) at 4 months was associated with HIV transmission, low maternal CD4 cell count, and high maternal plasma viral load. Elevated sodium concentration at 1 week postpartum was common and was not associated with any of these parameters.
Conclusions
Consistent viral shedding and high breast milk viral load are strong predictors of mother-to-child HIV transmission. Although sodium concentrations later in breast-feeding correlate with breast milk viral load, increased breast milk sodium is normal in early lactation and does not predict HIV transmission.
PMCID: PMC2821877  PMID: 18398972
breast-feeding; breast milk sodium; HIV; lactation; mastitis; mother-to-child transmission; viral load
9.  Barriers to acceptance and adherence of antiretroviral therapy in urban Zambian women: a qualitative study 
AIDS care  2009;21(1):78.
Sub-Saharan Africa contains over 60% of the world’s HIV infections and Zambia is among the most severely affected countries in the region. As antiretroviral programs have been rapidly expanding, the long-term success of these programs depends on a good understanding of the behavioral determinants of acceptance and adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART). The study used qualitative methods to gain local insight into potentially important factors affecting HIV-infected women’s decision to accept or continue with ART. Some of the barriers identified by this study are consistent with factors cited in the existing adherence literature from both developed and developing nations such as side effects, hunger and stigma; other factors have not been previously reported. One major theme was unfamiliarity with the implications of having a chronic, potentially deadly disease. Other emerging themes from this study include the complicated effect of ART on interpersonal relationship, particularly between husbands and wives, the presence of depression and hopelessness, and lack of accurate information. The results suggest that the reasons for non-uptake of treatment include issues related to local cultural frameworks (e.g., illness ideology), mental and behavioral health (e.g., depression and/or interpersonal challenges), stigma, and motivating factors (e.g., values of church or marriage) of different cultures that affect the ability and willingness to take life-saving medicine for a long period of time. Qualitative studies are critical to better understand why ART eligible individuals are choosing not to initiate or continue treatment to achieve needed adherence levels.
doi:10.1080/09540120802032643
PMCID: PMC2821879  PMID: 19085223
ART adherence; Africa; qualitative; HIV
10.  Reduced Mortality Associated With Breast-Feeding–Acquired HIV Infection and Breast-Feeding Among HIV-Infected Children in Zambia 
Objectives
In developing countries, where mother-to-child transmission of HIV through breast-feeding is common, little is known about the impact of postpartum transmission on child survival. This study assessed whether children infected postpartum have longer survival from time of infection versus those infected during gestation or delivery.
Design
We used a prospective cohort study to analyze data from 213 HIV-infected children enrolled in a breast-feeding intervention trial in Lusaka, Zambia (2001 to 2004).
Methods
We compared mortality 1 year after HIV infection in children stratified by age of infection: 0 to 3 days (intrauterine [IU] group), 4 to 40 days (intrapartum/early postpartum [IP/EPP] group), and >40 days (postpartum [PP] group).
Results
A total of 61, 71, and 81 children were infected in the IU, IP/EPP, and PP groups, respectively. Children with intrauterine or intrapartum/early postpartum transmission had higher mortality over the first 12 months after infection than children with postpartum transmission (P = 0.001 and P = 0.006, respectively); no differences were detected between children with intrauterine and intrapartum/early postpartum transmission. Nearly 20% of the IU and IP/EPP groups died by 100 days after infection, whereas nearly 10% of the PP group had died by this time. After adjusting for birth weight, maternal CD4 cell count, breast-feeding, and maternal death, children infected postpartum had one quarter the mortality rate (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.27, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.15 to 0.50) of those infected in utero. Stopping breast-feeding increased mortality in infected children (HR = 3.1, 95% CI: 1.8 to 5.3).
Conclusions
This study demonstrates a survival benefit among children infected postpartum versus children infected during pregnancy or delivery and a benefit to increased breast-feeding duration among infected children. Testing children for HIV early may provide a means to allow for earlier intervention.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e31816e39a3
PMCID: PMC2814597  PMID: 18344878
Africa; breast-feeding; HIV; infant mortality; mother-to-child transmission; pediatric HIV
11.  Low and Undetectable Breast Milk Interleukin-7 Concentrations Are Associated With Reduced Risk of Postnatal HIV Transmission 
Objective
To investigate if breast milk interleukin [IL]-7 concentrations are associated with postnatal HIV transmission.
Design
A case-control study nested within a cohort of women recruited in Lusaka, Zambia.
Methods
IL-7 breast milk concentrations were measured in samples from 24 HIV-infected breast-feeding women who transmitted HIV to their child after the neonatal period and from 47 women who did not transmit. Samples were frequency-matched by the time of sample collection (1 week and 1 month postpartum). Logistic regression was used to adjust for possible confounders. For comparison, samples from 18 HIV-uninfected women from the same community were included in the analysis, and plasma IL-7 was determined.
Results
Breast milk IL-7 concentrations were significantly higher than plasma IL-7 concentrations in all 3 groups. In contrast to levels among transmitters and HIV-uninfected women, breast milk IL-7 concentrations exhibited a bimodal distribution among nontransmitters. Breast milk IL-7 concentrations undetectable or less than 30 pg/mL were significantly associated with less HIV transmission (odds ratio = 0.13, 95% confidence interval: 0.03 to 0.64). The association remained strong after adjustment for breast milk viral load and sodium, maternal CD4 cell counts, parity, and time of sample collection.
Conclusion
Breast milk IL-7 may be necessary for effective HIV transmission.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e318141f942
PMCID: PMC2803758  PMID: 17667336
breast milk; cell activation; interleukin-7; postnatal HIV transmission
12.  High dose prolonged treatment with nitazoxanide is not effective for cryptosporidiosis in HIV positive Zambian children: a randomised controlled trial 
Background
Treatment of cryptosporidiosis in HIV infected children has proved difficult and unsatisfactory with no drugs having demonstrable efficacy in controlled trials except nitazoxanide. We hypothesised that a prolonged course of treatment with high dose nitazoxanide would be effective in treating cryptosporidiosis in HIV positive Zambian children.
Methods
We performed a double-blind, randomised, placebo controlled trial in paediatric patients in the UTH in Lusaka. The study included HIV positive children between one and eleven years of age if 2 out of 3 stool samples were positive for oocysts of Cryptosporidium spp. Children were given nitazoxanide suspension in a dose of 200 mg twice daily (bid) for 28 days (if 1-3 years old) or 400 mg bid for 28 days (if 4-11 years old), or matching placebo.
Results
Sixty children were randomised and 52 were fully evaluated. Only five children were 4 years of age or over and received the higher dose. In the primary efficacy analysis, 11 out of 26 (42%) in the active treatment group achieved a 'Well' clinical response compared to 8 out of 26 (35%) in the placebo group. Parasitological response was declared as 'Eradicated' in 27% in the active group and 35% in the placebo group. Mortality (16/52, 31%) did not differ by treatment allocation.
Conclusion
We found no significant benefit in children with cryptosporidiosis despite high dose and longer treatment duration. This is the second randomised controlled trial to suggest that in Zambian children with HIV-related immunosuppression nitazoxanide does not eradicate this infection nor provide clinical symptom reduction.
Trial Registration
The trial was registered as ISRCTN41089957.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-9-195
PMCID: PMC2794874  PMID: 19954529
13.  Differential Effects of Early Weaning for HIV-Free Survival of Children Born to HIV-Infected Mothers by Severity of Maternal Disease 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(6):e6059.
Background
We previously reported no benefit of early weaning for HIV-free survival of children born to HIV-infected mothers in intent-to-treat analyses. Since early weaning was poorly accepted, we conducted a secondary analysis to investigate whether beneficial effects may have been hidden.
Methods
958 HIV-infected women in Lusaka, Zambia, were randomized to abrupt weaning at 4 months (intervention) or to continued breastfeeding (control). Children were followed to 24 months with regular HIV PCR tests and examinations to determine HIV infection or death. Detailed behavioral data were collected on when all breastfeeding ended. Most participants were recruited before antiretroviral treatment (ART) became available. We compared outcomes among mother-child pairs who weaned earlier or later than intended by study design adjusting for potential confounders.
Results
Of infants alive, uninfected and still breastfeeding at 4 months in the intervention group, 16.1% who weaned as instructed acquired HIV or died by 24 months compared to 16.0% who did not comply (p = 0.98). Children of women with less severe disease during pregnancy (not eligible for ART) had worse outcomes if their mothers weaned as instructed (RH = 2.60 95% CI: 1.06–6.36) compared to those who continued breastfeeding. Conversely, children of mothers with more severe disease (eligible for ART but did not receive it) who weaned early had better outcomes (p-value interaction = 0.002). In the control group, weaning before 15 months was associated with 3.94-fold (95% CI: 1.65–9.39) increase in HIV infection or death among infants of mothers with less severe disease.
Conclusion
Incomplete adherence did not mask a benefit of early weaning. On the contrary, for women with less severe disease, early weaning was harmful and continued breastfeeding resulted in better outcomes. For women with more advanced disease, ART should be given during pregnancy for maternal health and to reduce transmission, including through breastfeeding.
Trial Registration
Clinical trials.gov NCT00310726
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006059
PMCID: PMC2698120  PMID: 19557167
14.  Effects of Early, Abrupt Weaning on HIV-free Survival of Children in Zambia 
The New England journal of medicine  2008;359(2):130-141.
Background
In low-resource settings, many programs recommend that women who are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) stop breast-feeding early. We conducted a randomized trial to evaluate whether abrupt weaning at 4 months as compared with the standard practice has a net benefit for HIV-free survival of children.
Methods
We enrolled 958 HIV-infected women and their infants in Lusaka, Zambia. All the women planned to breast-feed exclusively to 4 months; 481 were randomly assigned to a counseling program that encouraged abrupt weaning at 4 months, and 477 to a program that encouraged continued breast-feeding for as long as the women chose. The primary outcome was either HIV infection or death of the child by 24 months.
Results
In the intervention group, 69.0% of the mothers stopped breast-feeding at 5 months or earlier; 68.8% of these women reported the completion of weaning in less than 2 days. In the control group, the median duration of breast-feeding was 16 months. In the overall cohort, there was no significant difference between the groups in the rate of HIV-free survival among the children; 68.4% and 64.0% survived to 24 months without HIV infection in the intervention and control groups, respectively (P = 0.13). Among infants who were still being breast-fed and were not infected with HIV at 4 months, there was no significant difference between the groups in HIV-free survival at 24 months (83.9% and 80.7% in the intervention and control groups, respectively; P = 0.27). Children who were infected with HIV by 4 months had a higher mortality by 24 months if they had been assigned to the intervention group than if they had been assigned to the control group (73.6% vs. 54.8%, P = 0.007).
Conclusions
Early, abrupt cessation of breast-feeding by HIV-infected women in a low-resource setting, such as Lusaka, Zambia, does not improve the rate of HIV-free survival among children born to HIV-infected mothers and is harmful to HIV-infected infants. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00310726.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa073788
PMCID: PMC2577610  PMID: 18525036
15.  Reduction in Preterm Delivery and Neonatal Mortality after the Introduction of Antenatal Cotrimoxazole Prophylaxis among HIV-Infected Women with Low CD4 Cell Counts 
The Journal of infectious diseases  2006;194(11):1510-1518.
Background.
Cotrimoxazole prophylaxis is recommended for subgroups of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected adults and children to reduce all-cause morbidity and mortality. We investigated whether antenatal cotrimoxazole prophylaxis begun during pregnancy for HIV-infected pregnant women with low CD4 cell counts would affect birth outcomes.
Methods.
Cotrimoxazole prophylaxis was introduced as a routine component of antenatal care for HIV-infected women with CD4 cell counts <200 cells/μL during the course of a trial of mother-to-child HIV transmission in Lusaka, Zambia. Rates of preterm delivery, low birth weight, and neonatal mortality were compared for women with low CD4 cell counts before and after its introduction.
Results.
Among 255 women with CD4 cell counts <200 cells/μL, the percentage of preterm births (≤34 weeks of gestation) was lower (odds ratio [OR], 0.49 [95% confidence interval {CI}, 0.24-0.98]) after cotrimoxazole prophylaxis was introduced than before; there was a significant decrease in neonatal mortality (9% to 0%; P = .01) and a trend toward increased birth weight (β = 114 g [95% CI, -42 to 271 g]). In contrast, there were no significant changes in these parameters over the same time interval among women with CD4 cell counts ≥200 cells/μL.
Conclusion.
Antenatal provision of cotrimoxazole for HIV-infected pregnant women with low CD4 cell counts may have indirect benefits for neonatal health.
doi:10.1086/508996
PMCID: PMC1773010  PMID: 17083035
16.  High Uptake of Exclusive Breastfeeding and Reduced Early Post-Natal HIV Transmission 
PLoS ONE  2007;2(12):e1363.
Background
Empirical data showing the clear benefits of exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) for HIV prevention are needed to encourage implementation of lactation support programs for HIV-infected women in low resource settings among whom replacement feeding is unsafe. We conducted a prospective, observational study in Lusaka, Zambia, to test the hypothesis that EBF is associated with a lower risk of postnatal HIV transmission than non-EBF.
Methods and Results
As part of a randomized trial of early weaning, 958 HIV-infected women and their infants were recruited and all were encouraged to breastfeed exclusively to 4 months. Single-dose nevirapine was provided to prevent transmission. Regular samples were collected from infants to 24 months of age and tested by PCR. Detailed measurements of actual feeding behaviors were collected to examine, in an observational analysis, associations between feeding practices and postnatal HIV transmission. Uptake of EBF was high with 84% of women reporting only EBF cumulatively to 4 months. Post-natal HIV transmission before 4 months was significantly lower (p = 0.004) among EBF (0.040 95% CI: 0.024–0.055) than non-EBF infants (0.102 95% CI: 0.047–0.157); time-dependent Relative Hazard (RH) of transmission due to non-EBF = 3.48 (95% CI: 1.71–7.08). There were no significant differences in the severity of disease between EBF and non-EBF mothers and the association remained significant (RH = 2.68 95% CI: 1.28–5.62) after adjusting for maternal CD4 count, plasma viral load, syphilis screening results and low birth weight.
Conclusions
Non-EBF more than doubles the risk of early postnatal HIV transmission. Programs to support EBF should be expanded universally in low resource settings. EBF is an affordable, feasible, acceptable, safe and sustainable practice that also reduces HIV transmission providing HIV-infected women with a means to protect their children's lives.
Trial Registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00310726
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0001363
PMCID: PMC2137948  PMID: 18159246

Results 1-16 (16)