World health organization

10 facts on breastfeeding

An African mother holds her baby on her shoulder; the mother's shirt is printed with AIDS prevention messages.
AVECC/H. Vincent

HIV and breastfeeding

An HIV-infected mother can pass the infection to her infant during pregnancy, delivery and through breastfeeding. However, antiretroviral (ARV) drugs given to either the mother or HIV-exposed infant reduces the risk of transmission. Together, breastfeeding and ARVs have the potential to significantly improve infants' chances of surviving while remaining HIV uninfected. WHO recommends that when HIV-infected mothers breastfeed, they should receive ARVs and follow WHO guidance for infant feeding.

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