7.1.3 ARV drugs and duration of breastfeeding
Consolidated ARV guidelines, June 2013
The key principles and recommendations established in 2010 remain, including:
National or subnational health authorities should decide whether health services will mainly counsel and support mothers known to be infected with HIV to either breastfeed and receive ARV interventions or avoid all breastfeeding given their particular context.
In settings where national authorities have decided that maternal and child health services will mainly promote and support breastfeeding and ARV interventions as the strategy that will most likely give infants born to mothers known to be infected with HIV the greatest chance of HIV-free survival.
- Mothers known to be infected with HIV (and whose infants are HIV uninfected or of unknown HIV status) should exclusively breastfeed their infants for the first 6 months of life, introducing appropriate complementary foods thereafter, and continue breastfeeding for the first 12 months of life. Breastfeeding should then only stop once a nutritionally adequate and safe diet without breast-milk can be provided (strong recommendation, high-quality evidence for the first 6 months; low-quality evidence for the recommendation of 12 months).