In line with several recent clinical studies that have demonstrated the efficacy of (anti retro viral) ARVs in preventing HIV transmission from mother to child during breastfeeding, the new guidelines call on all HIV-infected pregnant women to begin ARV treatment during pregnancy and for the mother or baby to continue ARV treatment for the duration of breastfeeding.
The new guidelines encourage HIV-positive mothers taking ARVs to exclusively breastfeed their infants for the first 6 months, introducing appropriate solid foods while continuing to breastfeed for the first 12 months of life.
WHO states that there is now enough evidence to support the use of ARVs while breastfeeding.
“We are sending a clear message that breastfeeding is a good option for every baby, even those with HIV-positive mothers when they have access to ARVs,” said Daisy Mafubelu, WHO’s Assistant Director General for Family and Community Health.
You can access the full text of the release here.