Antiretroviral Drugs During Breastfeeding for the Prevention of Postnatal Transmission of HIV-1

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Abstract

The global pediatric human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 epidemic is fueled to a large extent by postnatal transmission from mother to infant through breastfeeding. As many as 90% of the estimated 430,000 new HIV infections in children less than 15 years of age in 2008 were due to mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) [1]. MTCT can occur in utero, intrapartum, or postpartum through breastfeeding; among children with known timing of infection, as much as 30–40% of MTCT of HIV-1 is attributable to breastfeeding; this proportion may be even higher in settings where effective interventions that decrease in utero and intrapartum transmission are being implemented [2–4].