A baby girl who contracted HIV after being breast-fed by a well-meaning aunt has become the first proven case in South Africa to have contracted HIV from a surrogate feeder or 'wet nurse'. The case contained in new research highlights the importance of HIV testing of mothers and surrogate feeders at a time when the government is phasing out free infant formula in its clinics.
The research study entitled 'The Tainted Milk of Human Kindness', conducted by researchers from the University of the Free State, University of KwaZulu-Natal and the National Health Laboratory Services has been published in respected medical journal 'The Lancet' , used the baby girl as a case study.
Research findings shown that HIV-positive women can breast-feed, but their babies need to be given antiretroviral treatment and breast-feeding needs to be done exclusively for six months.
News date: 2012-08-25
Gender Differences in Survival among Adult Patients Starting Antiretroviral Therapy in South Africa: A Multicentre Cohort Study. Cornell M, Schomaker M, Garone DB, Giddy J, Hoffmann CJ, Lessells R, Maskew M, Prozesky H, Wood R, Johnson LF, Egger M, Boulle A, Myer L For IeDEA-SA, PLoS Medicine (2012), 9(9):e1001304.