Breast-feeding, Mastitis, and HIV Transmission: Nutritional Implications

Authors

  • Richard D. Semba M.D., M.P.H.,

    1. Department of Ophthalmology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Dr. Neville is with the Department of Physiology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, CO 80262, USA.
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  • Margaret C. Neville Ph.D.

    1. Department of Ophthalmology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Dr. Neville is with the Department of Physiology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, CO 80262, USA.
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Abstract

In many developing countries, transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from mother to infant occurs through breast-feeding. Mastitis, an inflammatory process in the breast, may be common in lactating women in Africa and is associated with both higher HIV load in breast milk and mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Antioxidant micronutrient deficiencies may increase the risk of mastitis. Whether prevention, early diagnosis, and prompt treatment of mastitis will help reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV in breast-feeding women needs further study.

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