What if …
Q.70 If the child is already receiving daily NVP as part of Option A, then mothers should be encouraged to adhere to giving the NVP. At the same time, she should be rapidly assessed and initiated on lifelong ARV treatment.
Although exclusive breastfeeding can reduce the risk of HIV transmission compared to mixed feeding, exclusive breastfeeding is also important for survival of babies and other benefits not related to HIV. Exclusive breastfeeding should continue to be promoted among HIV-infected mothers for these additional benefits. A mother who is mixed feeding should be given positive feedback that she is still breastfeeding at all. A counsellor should discuss with her the reasons why she is not exclusively breastfeeding. Depending on the reasons, the mother may be able to return to exclusive breastfeeding if she receives support to do so.
The ARVs recommended in WHO guidelines, whether taken by mothers or given to babies, are effective at protecting against HIV transmission even if the mother is not exclusively breastfeeding. The health worker should determine whether or not the ARVs are being taken as directed, and stress the importance of continuing to take them for the mother’s and/or baby’s health.