The main changes
Q.2 What is the evidence to support these changes?
There is high quality evidence that ARV drug interventions, either to the mother or infant, significantly reduce the risk of HIV transmission through breastfeeding and that in most high HIV prevalence countries, the risk of infant mortality from not breastfeeding, or from stopping breastfeeding early, are greater than the risk of HIV infection.
WHO has a guideline review committee which oversees the development, approval and updating of WHO recommendations, according to the WHO GRADE process. Systematic reviews were undertaken of all evidence relating to HIV and infant feeding and considered the effect of interventions on infant HIV-free survival. A multidisciplinary panel of experts and civil society representatives met on 22-23 October 2009 to review the evidence, consider the balance of evidence for benefits and harms of the recommendations and their implications, and finalize the recommendations.