Breastfeeding and HIV-infected women in the United States: harm reduction counseling strategies

Clin Infect Dis. 2014 Jul 15;59(2):304-9. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciu272. Epub 2014 Apr 24.


Social and cultural forces have led some human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected women to question the recommendation in the United States not to breastfeed. Without an open dialogue, women may choose to breastfeed exclusively or intermittently and not disclose this to their provider. We review the evidence from global studies of the risks of breastfeeding among HIV-infected mothers and propose a harm reduction model for women considering breastfeeding.

Keywords: HIV; United States; breastfeeding; harm reduction; perinatal transmission.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding*
  • Counseling / methods*
  • Counseling / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / transmission*
  • Humans
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical / prevention & control*
  • Postnatal Care / methods*
  • Postnatal Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States