For African women with HIV, not breastfeeding is not easy

By Kathryn Doyle (Reuters Health) – Healthcare providers need to understand that for HIV-positive African women, following advice not to breastfeed in order to protect their babies from the virus takes a high emotional toll, a U.K. study suggests. “Firstly, we need to understand that avoiding breastfeeding may carry significant emotional, social and financial cost to women,” lead author Dr. Shema Tariq of University College London told Reuters Health. “It is important to build a safe and non-judgmental space where expectant mothers can openly discuss their concerns.” The risks and benefits of breastfeeding while HIV-positive depend on the setting, Tariq and her colleagues write in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections.
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