In what could be good news to hundreds of HIV positive pregnant women, a new study by American researchers has found that mothers receiving antiretroviral therapy (HAART) to treat HIV-1 infection have less chances of transmitting the deadly virus to their newborn child through breastfeeding.
The research led by Taha E. Taha, MBBS, PhD, of Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health report, is accessible online in the Nov. 15 issue of The Journal Of Infectious Diseases.
The report suggest HAART regimens should be initiated as early as possible in eligible mothers in areas with limited resources, such as Africa, where most infant HIV-1 infections occur, and breastfeeding is common.
Researchers studied 2,318 infant/mother pairs in Malawi to come up with their conclusions and suggest that HAART regimens should be administered as soon as possible to mothers, especially in underdeveloped countries.
The author's however, note that women who cannot take HAART due to a high CD4 count, the choices are not very definite. CD4 is a primary receptor used by HIV-1 tyo enter into host T cells.
Speaking about the research, Grace C. John-Stewart of the University of Washington School of Public Health, writes: "Recognizing the impact of prompt HAART initiation in eligible women and finding efficiencies in CD4 testing and delivery of HAART services will leverage antenatal HIV-1 testing to increase maternal survival and decrease infant infections."