HIV and infant feeding data analysis
Mother-to-child transmission of HIV is the most significant source of HIV infection in young children. The virus may be transmitted during pregnancy, labour or delivery, or through breastfeeding. While breastfeeding carries the risk of HIV-transmission, not breastfeeding carries other significant health risks to infants and young children, such as an increased risk of diarrhoea and pneumonia morbidity and mortality and malnutrition. The mode of breastfeeding is one of many factors that may affect the risk of HIV transmission. Several studies are currently underway or are planned in diverse settings to determine the association between infant feeding patterns and HIV-transmission and HIV-free survival.
A workshop was organized from 12-14 November 2003 in Geneva gathering investigators from six of these studies and other scientists involved in research in the area of HIV and infant feeding to discuss key issues related to collection and analysis of infant feeding data in the context of HIV transmission. This report describes the objectives of the meeting, gives a brief account of the ongoing studies on HIV and infant feeding, and presents the key issues related to collection and analysis of data and recommendations arising. The agenda of the meeting and the list of participants are also included.