Can a breastfeeding HIV positive mother infect her baby by breastfeeding?
Yes, and NO, some people believe that about one-third of all HIV positive children in the world have been infected through HIV and breastfeeding! Others say there is just not enough evidence to prove HIV transmission through breast milk.
Can an HIV positive mother reduce the risk of transferring the disease through HIV breastfeeding?
Some say that no method is effective enough to stop the transfer of the virus and that mothers should use formula.
The sad truth though is that in most parts of the world many mothers are faced with few options, breastfeed the baby and transfer the virus or he will starve, as they don’t have the financial resources for formula and do not even have a clean water supply. Therefore in the developing countries breastfeeding is not an everyday choice, but is actually the difference between life and death.
If you have the finances to buy formula every month and have
access to a clean water supply, it is recommended to refrain from breastfeeding, it is better to be safe than to be sorry
Get your child tested and if he/she is also positive, it is best then to breastfeed, as breastfeeding will help keep your baby healthy and strengthen his immune system.
HIV positive mothers can also get donated breast milk from a milk bank or get a wet nurse to nurse her baby, if possible.