Withholding breast milk for HIV exposed infants in sub-Saharan Africa: benefit or harm?
Feeding options for HIV exposed infants has remained topical and controversial in most settings of sub-Saharan Africa. This commentary, expresses the author’s opinions on this topical issue for and against breastfeeding or infant formula, with supporting evidence drawn from relevant literature on researches conducted in settings of sub-Saharan Africa. At the moment, it seems sensible to recommend that health care workers and policy makers should explore the options of making breastfeeding safer rather than withholding it for sub-Saharan African HIV exposed infants. It is hoped that when Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) becomes universally accessible and available to HIV infected women in sub-Saharan Africa, breast milk HIV transmission will be a rare event and the health benefits of breastfeeding for the infant and mother will be maximized.