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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 9  |  Page : 427-429

Post-natal maternal antiretroviral therapy and HIV prevalence among breast-fed infants in Benin, Nigeria

1 Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria
2 School of Medical Laboratory Sciences, University of Benin Teaching Hospital P.M.B 1111, Benin City, Nigeria
3 Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Paul E Imade
Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Background: Breastfeeding is an established mode of transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection resulting in clash between socio-cultural values and medical practice. Aims: This study aims to determine the effect of post-natal maternal antiretroviral therapy on transmission of HIV through breastfeeding. Patients and Methods: A total of 318 pregnant women were followed from pregnancy to 6 months post- partum. The women were divided into breast-fed and those who did not breast-feed, while the breast-fed were further divided into those on antiretroviral (ARV) and those not on ARV. After 6 months post-partum, dried blood spots were collected from infants born to these women and tested for HIV using polymerase chain reaction. Results: Generally, breast-feeding had 4 to 13 fold increase risk of transmission of HIV to infants (OR =7.079 95% CI = 3.768, 13.300; P <0.0001). However, among breast-fed infants, post-natal maternal ARV resulted in reduced prevalence of HIV compared to mothers who did not use ARV during breast-feeding (17.31% VS 92.00%; P<0.0001). Conclusion: The study demonstrates the effectiveness of post-natal maternal ARV. However, research into better feeding options to prevent mother to child transmission of HIV via breast-feeding is advocated.

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