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Old 07-01-2013
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Question HIV brestfeeding question

I am a bit confused, it is not recomended to breastfeed a baby born to HIV+ mother, because breast milk transmits the virus, but how is breast milk different, lets say from saliva in terms of containing the virus? I mean if mother kisses a new born, there is also a risk or what?
I know thats off the usmle, but just curious.
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Old 07-02-2013
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Kissing and breastfeeding are entirely different in terms of contact. Breast milk which contain virus can easily be transmitted to baby, as we know antibodies are transmitted via breast milk improving baby's immunity but we have never heard about antibodies being transmitted via kissing, if it were so then frequent kissing would be recommended for HIV negative mothers


With proper ARV, viral load becomes almost undetectable and thus reduces the chance of baby acquiring HIV through breastmilk to virtually zero. Thus guidelines in some countries like UK and South Africa are effectively support breastfeeding for all babies.

But for USMLE, breastfeeding is a NO in HIV +ve mother.
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