Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Can breastfeeding cause HIV infection?

How much do you know about HIV infection. To my knowledge there are four ways of transmission of HIV virus
  1. Infusion of infected blood
  2. Sexual intercourse with HIV infected person
  3. Needles
  4. From HIV infected mother on birth.
What would you think of Breast Feeding?

I had this notion that body fluid contact (blood or semen) was necessary for the transmission of HIV, and anything which is taken orally wont transmit the disease. According to this theory breastfeeding wouldn't cause any harm.

I was shocked on seeing this news article, where doctors advised HIV infected mother against breastfeeding. I thought of it as one more case of random behavior of doctors. But when they showed interview with an expert and he quoted some statistics, I felt like googling about this. And the results were totally different then my perception.
There have been studies that breastfeeding do increase the chances of HIV infection in new born. According to this report by UNICEF, WHO, UNFPA etc breastfeeding has cumulative effect on chances of HIV infection. It means more the breastfeeding, more is the chance of virus transmission. There was seen an increase of about 10-20% in the cases of transmission of the disease when breast feeding for 6-24 months.

Link to Report.

Tell me if there are any more fallacies in my thinking about HIV transmission.

7 comments:

Ankur said...

tell me one thing can HIV spread through oral sex (giving /receiving ) and if so.. then is there any protection for it?

amitscorpio said...

I guess
this
should help!!

Ankur said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sree's Views said...

From what I have heard from doctor's , when a mother is infected with HIV , it is transmitted to the child too....so nursing the child wld not make a significant impact.

amitscorpio said...

@Sree: Its not always the case. There can be healthy child born to an HIV infected mother too!!

kunal said...

wow... i had no idea abt these things. Thanks for making me aware of such things.

amitscorpio said...

you are welcome!!