The Benefits of New ARV Prophylaxis in Infants Who are on Exclusive Breast Feeding in Reducing the Risk of Mother to Child Transmission
Benefits of New ARV Prophylaxis in Infants
Background: Antiretroviral prophylaxis given soon after birth to all HIV exposed infants is effective in reducing MTCT which forms the basis of post exposure prophylaxis strategy. Infant ARV prophylaxis is also highly effective in reducing transmission through breast milk. Subjects and Methods: All mothers were counseled regarding advantages and disadvantages of both exclusive breast feeding and mixed feeding and was started on EBF on their choice. Babies were followed up at birth, 4weeks, 6weeks, 10weeks, 14weeks and monthly thereafter until 6 months of age and during every visit detailed history and clinical examination was performed and entered in preformed proforma. HIV status was evaluated at 6weeks and 6 months of life by direct blood spot for HIV -1 DNA PCR by ICTC and if it was positive it was confirmed by whole blood sample for HIV -1 DNA PCR at ART Centre. Results: At the end of 6 months, most common clinical morbidity noticed in HIV exposed exclusively breast fed infants was clinical pallor in 4(19.0%), followed by URTI, splenomegaly in 2(9.5%), and hepatomegaly, loose stools, oral thrush, severe acute malnutrition, and microcephaly was observed in 1(4.8%) babies. Conclusion: The breast milk of HIV-infected women may confer protection against common infant pathogens.