Breastfeeding May Lower Risk of HIV for African Babies
March 29, 2007
As the person who sent it to us remarked, "I won't even begin to try to make sense of this one." However, I will comment that the best modern medical science appears to be able to do to solve the perpetual public health problems of Africa [now called HIV/AIDS] is to "strongly" recommend circumcising men and breastfeeding babies.
Women infected with HIV who exclusively breastfeed their babies reduce the risk of transmitting the virus, researchers in South Africa have found.
Infants who were given solids in addition to breast milk were almost 11 times more likely to become infected compared with those who had only breast milk, the team reports in Saturday's issue of the medical journal The Lancet.
Infants who received formula milk or animal milk in addition to breast milk were nearly twice as likely to be infected.
In comparison, the risk of transmission to infants fed only breast milk was four per cent.
"The question of whether or not to breastfeed is not a straightforward one," said study author Prof. Hoosen Coovadia from the Africa Centre.
"We know that breastfeeding carries with it a risk of transmitting HIV infection from mother to child, but breastfeeding remains a key intervention to reduce mortality." [Continued]