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Breast-fed Antiretrovirals Block Infant HIV


Whether Mom or infant takes the drugs, antiretrovirals during the first 6 months protect breast-fed infants against contracting HIV. In this interview, the lead author of the CDC-led study discusses the implications.

Women infected with HIV are cautioned against breastfeeding, but in some places that's the only realistic option for keeping a baby alive. A new study has found that adding antiretrovirals to the picture can protect breastfed infants from infection. Here discussing the implications is Denise Jamieson, MD, who is Chief of the Women's Health and Fertility Division at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and lead author of the study.


1. Please explain what the breast feeding, antiretrovirals and nutrition (BAN) study is.

2. Were the declines [in HIV infection among infants who received antiretrovirals during breastfeeding] were the same in both groups?

3. Why is a study like this important?

4. Do you find in settings like this that women and their physicians are resistant to breastfeeding?

5. Would you see the study changing the recommendation in the US (that HIV-infected women not breastfeed)?

6. How do you see the results of this study affecting women in resource-poor areas and countries?

7. Do you have any sense what it would mean in terms of cost to have these women remain on antiretrovirals for up to 2 years?


Breast-fed Antiretrovirals Block Infant HIV

For your reference:

Maternal and infant antiretroviral regimens to prevent postnatal HIV-1 transmission: 48-week follow-up of the BAN randomised controlled trial
Jamieson DJ, Chasela CS, Hudgens MG et alLancet early online publication 26 April 2012


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