Alternative modified infant-feeding practices to prevent postnatal transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 through breast milk: Past, present, and future

Sandra Urdaneta Hartmann, Cheston Berlin, Mary M. Howett

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

15 Scopus citations


Preventing mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) through breastfeeding is important to reduce the number of infected children. Research on making breastfeeding safer is a high priority. The authors reviewed the attempts to develop alternative methods, other than antiretroviral (ARV) therapy of mothers and/or babies, to decontaminate breast milk of infectious HIV-1 (free and associated with lymphocytes). They also review how these methods affect milk constituents, as well as their current and prospective status. A PubMed search for English publications on methods to prevent MTCT through breast milk was completed. Methods that have been tested, other than systemicuse or ARV or immunoprophylaxis, to reduce or prevent MTCT of HIV-1 through breast milk were broadly classified into 5 groups: (1) modified feeding practices, (2) heat treatment of milk, (3) lipolysis, (4) antimicrobial treatment of the breastfeeding mother, and (5) microbicidal treatment of infected milk. Their advantages and disadvantages are discussed, as well as future directions in the prevention of MTCT through breastfeeding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-88
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Human Lactation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2006


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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