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Can I baby pass on HIV / AIDS to a woman breastfeeding him / her?

(28 Posts)
imanaunty Fri 24-Jul-09 06:25:49


I was out with my mum, sister and nephew today. His mum (my sister) was away for a few minutes and he was crying. I told him I would feed him if I could...

We got talking about Salma Hayek, and how she had breastfed a baby when her mother was too sick to do it herself.

My mother thought it was very foolish to do this, as she thought the baby would be able to pass on AIDS to her.

I thought it was a beautiful, selfless loving act.

Can a baby pass on HIV / AIDS to a woman breasfeeding him / her?


PrincessToadstool Fri 24-Jul-09 06:28:56

No, they can't. I agreecwith you about Salma

Devendra Fri 24-Jul-09 07:19:51

The maother was sat next to her while she did the PR selfless act. She looked incredibly distressed uncomfortable with the whole thing.

OnlyWantsOne Fri 24-Jul-09 07:32:18

OOoo... I have no idea what you are all talking about? Please xplain?

imanaunty when you said you would feed your nephew, whilst your sister wasn't there, were you talking about breast or bottle?

kazbeth Fri 24-Jul-09 07:33:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LeninGrad Fri 24-Jul-09 08:52:49

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LeninGrad Fri 24-Jul-09 08:55:38

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tiktok Fri 24-Jul-09 08:58:41

Search archives for discussions on this, OnlyWantsOne.

kazbeth, the mother of the baby is standing next to SH while she bf - some of the versions of this clip show this quite clearly. In all of them the baby is plump and healthy-looking; not clear why mum was not bf or expressing.

ilovemydogandmrobama Fri 24-Jul-09 09:01:07

Interesting, but think not as it would mean that HIV/AIDs is able to be transmitted orally, and it isn't AFAIK (baby to mother. mother - baby is possible)

LeninGrad Fri 24-Jul-09 09:03:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

salvadory Fri 24-Jul-09 09:03:45

breastfeeding if the mother is HIV+ is not a complex issue. It's a don't do it, ever. The virus can be passed on in the breastmilk and for that reason HIV+ mothers in the UK are actively told NOT to breastfeed.
Interesting question about it going the other way, there may be a small risk but I'll check today and find out.

LeninGrad Fri 24-Jul-09 09:07:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

reikizen Fri 24-Jul-09 09:15:52

I am supposing there is a theoretical risk (like for example there is a theoretical risk that it can be transmitted via fluid entering the eye) but there is no record of a case. An entry site + infected fluid is a theoretical risk but would probably need such a huge about of baby saliva that it would never actually occur. Like snogging? Anyway, not sure why she was bfing and did not express. Sounds like a PR opportunity to me, if she actually did it for the cameras so I am positive she put herself at no risk (think of the insurance!!!)

salvadory Fri 24-Jul-09 09:21:19

ARV's do not prevent transmission of the virus through the breastmilk, obviously if a child is starving a mother would breastfeed but there will be a risk of virus transmission even if on Antiretrovirals. There's a big debate going on at present about the use of condoms during sexual intercourse in HIV+ individuals who are virologically supressed (using ARV's). i.e whether it's necessary to bother and whilst the risks are much lower there are still risks.

ilovemydogandmrobama Fri 24-Jul-09 09:22:46

There are various theories as to why Salma did what she did, but she was visiting an orphanage (I think?) in Africa, and she was b/fing at the time, so fed another baby after hearing that the mother couldn't.

Personally, think it was one of those stimulus response things. Don't know about anyone else, but when I was away from my DCs when I was b/fing, if a child cried in a 5 mile radius, my breasts would be painful smile

LeninGrad Fri 24-Jul-09 09:23:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

salvadory Fri 24-Jul-09 09:34:03

I just don't see why is it good enough advice for people here not to BF if HIV+ but people in developing countries are expected to bear the risk?? We surely get the best ARV's money has to buy in the western world and yet in developing countries where people are lucky to get the drugs that people here would tunr their noses up at women are expected to BF too.
What an awful dilemma of the women in those countries who have to BF knowing they may infect their children but if they don;t their babies go hungry

LeninGrad Fri 24-Jul-09 09:37:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wannaBe Fri 24-Jul-09 09:37:07

I don't imagine it will have been something that has been widely studied. After all most babies that are HIV positive will have been infected by their mother, either in utero or during the birth, therefore the mother would already be infected thus meaning the transmition risk from baby to mother was irelevant.

As for Salma Hayek, I think that made for quite uncomfortable viewing tbh. For me it just smacked of "oh look at me, rich wester woman coming to show you poor African women how it's done." hmm

wannaBe Fri 24-Jul-09 09:42:03

salvadory in the developing world it has to do with more than just the availability of ARV's though. It has to do with the safety of water with which formula would be mixed, which in itself poses its own risks.

Iirc women with HIV are advised to exclusively bf or not at all, as mixed feeding affects the gut which in turn can increase the risk of the baby being infected with HIV through breastmilk. Add to that the fact that water in the developing world means that formula feeding carries additional risks than it would in the western world, and you have a senario where exclusive breastfeeding is the best option for women with HIV in the developing world.

wastingmyeducation Fri 24-Jul-09 09:48:26

That's right, in many developing nations the risk of transmission is lower than the likelihood of dying from being bottle-fed.

HoppityBunny Fri 24-Jul-09 19:14:43

And also if the baby is exclusively breastfed rather than mixed fed by a HIV/AID mother. The baby is much less likely to get the virus, cos if mixed fed, the formula breaks down the baby's protective breast-milk lining.

HoppityBunny Fri 24-Jul-09 19:16:43

Sorry girls, just noticed what I wrote is said already, go on you "wannaBe"! My baby boy is grumpy tonight - I am not reading properly!

joyjac Fri 24-Jul-09 22:59:45

Some interesting stuff on here. In Third World countries the risks of formula feeding are so much higher, infant mortality rates are still way beyond what would be accepted in any Western society. Gastroenteritis here is a nuisance, in many countries it is an infant killer sad

salvadory Sat 25-Jul-09 10:17:22

I am aware of the risks of unclean water supplies and the pitfalls of formula feeding which is why it's such an awful dilemma for the mother, she has milk which she knows carries a risk yet the sanitation issue presents yet another risk. If an HIV+ mother breast feeds her child then there is a definite risk of passing on to the child. Exclusive formula feeding has it's own risks which can also be fatal in these countries.
Starvation/infection from dirty water or HIV+ status, not great options

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