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I beg you...breastfeed the baby, things changed: infant feeding experiences among Ugandan mothers living with HIV in the context of evolving guidelines to prevent postnatal transmission.
BMC Public Health. 2018 Jan 29; 18(1):188.BACKGROUND: For women living with HIV (WLWH) in low- and middle-income countries, World Health Organization (WHO) infant feeding guidelines now recommend exclusive breastfeeding until six months followed by mixed feeding until 24 months, alongside lifelong maternal antiretroviral therapy (ART). These recommendations represent the sixth major revision to WHO infant feeding guidelines since 1992. We explored how WLWH in rural Uganda make infant feeding decisions in light of evolving recommendations. METHODS: We conducted semi-structured interviews with 20 postpartum Ugandan WLWH accessing ART, who reported pregnancy < 2 years prior to recruitment. Interviews were conducted between February-August 2014 with babies born between March 2012-October 2013, over which time, the regional HIV treatment clinic recommended lifelong ART for all pregnant and breastfeeding women (Option B+). Content analysis was used to identify major themes. Infant feeding experiences was an emergent theme. NVivo 10 software was used to organize analyses. RESULTS: Among 20 women, median age was 33 years [IQR: 28-35], number of livebirths was 3 [IQR: 2-5], years on ART was 2.3 [IQR: 1.5-5.1], and 95% were virally suppressed. Data revealed that women valued opportunities to reduce postnatal transmission. However, women made infant feeding choices that differed from recommendations due to: (1) perception of conflicting recommendations regarding infant feeding; (2) fear of prolonged infant HIV exposure through breastfeeding; and (3) social and structural constraints shaping infant feeding decision-making. CONCLUSIONS: WLWH face layered challenges navigating evolving infant feeding recommendations. Further research is needed to examine guidance and decision-making on infant feeding choices to improve postpartum experiences and outcomes. Improved communication about changes to recommendations is needed for WLWH, their partners, community members, and healthcare providers.
Strength of recommendations in WHO guidelines using GRADE was associated with uptake in national policy.
Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. 2015;  p.Objectives: This study assesses the extent to which the strength of a recommendation in a World Health Organization (WHO) guideline affects uptake of the recommendation in national guidelines. Study Design and Setting: The uptake of recommendations included in HIV and TB guidelines issued by WHO from 2009 to 2013 was assessed across guidelines from 20 low- and middle-income countries in Africa and Southeast Asia. Associations between characteristics of recommendations (strength, quality of the evidence, type) and uptake were assessed using logistic regression. Results: Eight WHO guidelines consisting of 109 strong recommendations and 49 conditional ecommendations were included, and uptake assessed across 44 national guidelines (1,255 recommendations) from 20 countries. Uptake of WHO recommendations in national guidelines was 82% for strong recommendations and 61% for conditional recommendations. The odds of uptake comparing strong recommendations and conditional recommendations was 1.9 (95% confidence interval: 1.4, 2.7), after adjustment for quality of evidence. Higher levels of evidence quality were associated with greater uptake, independent of recommendation strength. Conclusion: Guideline developers should be confident that conditional recommendations are frequently adopted. The fact that strong recommendations are more frequently adopted than conditional recommendations underscores the importance of ensuring that such recommendations are justified.
Individualizing the WHO HIV and infant feeding guidelines: optimal breastfeeding duration to maximize infant HIV-free survival.
AIDS. 2014 Jul; 28 Suppl 3:S287-99.OBJECTIVES: To determine how infant feeding recommendations can maximize HIV-free survival (HFS) among HIV-exposed, uninfected African infants, balancing risks of breast milk-associated HIV infection with setting-specific risks of illness and death associated with replacement feeding. DESIGN: Validated mathematical model of HIV-exposed, uninfected infants, with published data from Africa. METHODS: We projected 24-month HFS using combinations of: maternal CD4, antiretroviral drug availability, and relative risk of mortality among replacement-fed compared to breastfed infants ('RR-RF', range 1.0-6.0). For each combination, we identified the 'optimal' breastfeeding duration (0-24 months) maximizing HFS. We compared HFS under an 'individualized' approach, based on the above parameters, to the WHO 'public health approach' (12 months breastfeeding for all HIV-infected women). RESULTS: Projected HFS was 65-93%. When the value of RR-RF is 1.0, replacement feeding from birth maximized HFS. At a commonly reported RR-RF value (2.0), optimal breastfeeding duration was 3-12 months, depending on maternal CD4 and antiretroviral drug availability. As the value of RR-RF increased, optimal breastfeeding duration increased. Compared to the public health approach, an individualized approach improved absolute HFS by less than 1% if RR-RF value was 2.0-4.0, by 3% if RR-RF value was 1.0 or 6.0, and by greater amounts if access to antiretroviral drugs was limited. CONCLUSION: Tailoring breastfeeding duration to maternal CD4, antiretroviral drug availability, and local replacement feeding safety can optimize HFS among HIV-exposed infants. An individualized approach leads to moderate gains in HFS, but only when mortality risks from replacement feeding are very low or very high, or antiretroviral drug availability is limited. The WHO public health approach is beneficial in most resource-limited settings.
Health outcomes and cost impact of the new WHO 2013 guidelines on prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Zambia.
PloS One. 2014; 9(3):e90991.BACKGROUND: Countries are currently progressing towards the elimination of new paediatric HIV infections by 2015. WHO published new consolidated guidelines in June 2013, which now recommend either 'Antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) for women living with HIV during pregnancy and breastfeeding (Option B)' or 'Lifelong antiretroviral therapy (ART) for all pregnant and breastfeeding women living with HIV (Option B+)', while de facto phasing out Option A. This study examined health outcomes and cost impact of the shift to WHO 2013 recommendations in Zambia. METHODS: A decision analytic model was developed based on the national health system perspective. Estimated risk and number of cases of HIV transmission to infants and to serodiscordant partners, and proportions of HIV-infected pregnant women with CD4 count of =350 cells/mm3 to initiate ART were compared between 2010 Option A and the 2013 recommendations. Total costs of prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) services per annual cohort of pregnant women, incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) per infection averted and quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gained were examined. RESULTS: Our analysis suggested that the shift from 2010 Option A to the 2013 guidelines would result in a 33% reduction of the risk of HIV transmission among exposed infants. The risk of transmission to serodiscordant partners for a period of 24 months would be reduced by 72% with 'ARVs during pregnancy and breastfeeding' and further reduced by 15% with 'Lifelong ART'. The probability of HIV-infected pregnant women to initiate ART would increase by 80%. It was also suggested that while the shift would generate higher PMTCT costs, it would be cost-saving in the long term as it spares future treatment costs by preventing infections in infants and partners. CONCLUSION: The shift to the WHO 2013 guidelines in Zambia would positively impact health of family and save future costs related to care and treatment.
The reach and limits of the US President's Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR) funding of Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV in Nigeria.
African Journal of Reproductive Health. 2012 Mar; 16(1):23-34.WHO advocates the use of comprehensive 4-pronged strategy for PMTCT of HIV. It includes HIV prevention, preventing unintended pregnancies in HIV positive women and follows up treatment and support as well as therapeutic interventions around delivery. This study examines PEPFAR's funding of Nigerian PMTCT, via an analysis of the funded activities of 396 agencies PEPFAR funds to do PMTCT. PEPFAR Sub-partners selected for this study were included because they were funded to do therapeutic intervention around delivery, but significant gaps were identified regarding the other 3 prongs advocated by WHO. Up to 70% were not funded to do any primary prevention. PEPFAR's own reporting does not allow assessment of Sub-partner involvement in preventing unintended pregnancies. Regarding follow up treatment and care, some Sub-partners were not funded at all. PEPFAR is not supporting a comprehensive approach to PMTCT in the way it funds PMTCT in Nigeria.
Coverage of selected health services for HIV / AIDS prevention and care in less developed countries in 2001.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2002 Nov. v, 38 p.The Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS adopted by the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS in June 2001 commits Member States and the global community to taking strong and immediate action to address the HIV/AIDS crisis. It calls for achieving a number of specific goals, including reducing HIV prevalence among young men and women, expanding care and support and protecting human rights. The Millennium Development Goals adopted at the Millennium Summit in September 2000 call for expanded efforts to halt and reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS by 2015. Other important documents, such as the Abuja Declaration and Framework for Action on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Other Related Infectious Diseases adopted at the African Summit on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Other Related Infectious Diseases in 2001, declare regional and national commitments to confront the epidemic. Progress towards achieving these goals requires significantly expanding HIV/AIDS programmes to foster a supportive environment, to prevent new infections, to care for those already infected and to mitigate the social and economic consequences of the epidemic. One measure of progress is the percentage of people living in low- and middle income countries who have access to key prevention and care services. This report presents the results of an assessment of the coverage of several key health services in 2001. It is intended to serve as a baseline against which future progress can be measured. This report includes about 70 countries, including most low- and middle income countries with more than 10 000 people living with HIV/AIDS in 2001. The information presented here relies on service statistics and on expert assessment and is therefore much less precise than estimates based on population-based surveys. The results should be interpreted with caution but are useful in indicating the starting point in efforts to achieve future goals. (excerpt)
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, Division of Child Health and Development, 1996 Nov.  p. (Update No. 22)The question of whether breastfeeding plays a significant role in the transmission of hepatitis B has been asked for many years. It is important given the critical role of breastfeeding and the fact that about 5% of mothers worldwide are chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) carriers. Examination of relevant studies indicates that there is no evidence that breastfeeding poses any additional risk to infants of HBV carrier mothers. The use of hepatitis B vaccine in infant immunization programmes, recommended by WHO and now implemented in 80 countries, is a further development that will eventually eliminate risk of transmission. This document discusses the issues relevant to breastfeeding and HBV transmission, and provides guidance from a WHO perspective. (excerpt)
Are WHO/UNAIDS/UNICEF-recommended replacement milks for infants of HIV-infected mothers appropriate in the South African context?
Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2004 Mar; 82(3):164-171.Little is known about the nutritional adequacy and feasibility of breastmilk replacement options recommended by WHO/ UNAIDS/UNICEF. The study aim was to explore suitability of the 2001 feeding recommendations for infants of HIV-infected mothers for a rural region in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa specifically with respect to adequacy of micronutrients and essential fatty acids, cost, and preparation times of replacement milks. Nutritional adequacy, cost, and preparation time of home-prepared replacement milks containing powdered full cream milk (PM) and fresh full cream milk (FM) and different micronutrient supplements (2 g UNICEF micronutrient sachet, government supplement routinely available in district public health clinics, and best available liquid paediatric supplement found in local pharmacies) were compared. Costs of locally available ingredients for replacement milk were used to calculate monthly costs for infants aged one, three, and six months. Total monthly costs of ingredients of commercial and home-prepared replacement milks were compared with each other and the average monthly income of domestic or shop workers. Time needed to prepare one feed of replacement milk was simulated. When mixed with water, sugar, and each micronutrient supplement, PM and FM provided <50% of estimated required amounts for vitamins E and C, folic acid, iodine, and selenium and <75% for zinc and pantothenic acid. PM and FM made with UNICEF micronutrient sachets provided 30% adequate intake for niacin. FM prepared with any micronutrient supplement provided no more than 32% vitamin D. All PMs provided more than adequate amounts of vitamin D. Compared with the commercial formula, PM and FM provided 8–60% of vitamins A, E, and C, folic acid, manganese, zinc, and iodine. Preparations of PM and FM provided 11% minimum recommended linoleic acid and 67% minimum recommended a-linolenic acid per 450 ml mixture. It took 21–25 minutes to optimally prepare 120 ml of replacement feed from PM or commercial infant formula and 30–35 minutes for the fresh milk preparation. PM or FM cost approximately 20% of monthly income averaged over the first six months of life; commercial formula cost approximately 32%. No home-prepared replacement milks in South Africa meet all estimated micronutrient and essential fatty acid requirements of infants aged <6 months. Commercial infant formula is the only replacement milk that meets all nutritional needs. Revisions of WHO/UNAIDS/UNICEF HIV and infant feeding course replacement milk options are needed. If replacement milks are to provide total nutrition, preparations should include vegetable oils, such as soybean oil, as a source of linoleic and a-linolenic acids, and additional vitamins and minerals. (author's)
SCIENCE. 1998 Feb 27; 279(5355):1299.A US-funded, placebo-controlled clinical trial in Thailand has found that a brief, relatively inexpensive course of the antiretroviral drug AZT given during the final weeks of pregnancy can reduce the transmission of HIV from mothers to their newborn infants. Plans are now being developed to make the therapy available to thousands of HIV-infected women in the developing world. Main findings of the Thai study were released on February 18, 1998. Researchers conducted the trial to assess whether the provision of AZT orally to pregnant HIV-infected women for 4 weeks before going into labor would reduce the amount of HIV they passed onto their children. AZT was already known to be effective in reducing HIV transmission when given in a more complex and expensive regimen, but the short regimen costs only one-tenth that of standard treatment. In order to obtain clear results, half of the women received AZT and the other half a sugar tablet placebo. Preliminary data indicate that the level of HIV transmission fell from 18.6% in the placebo group to 9.2% in the AZT test group. The short-course AZT regimen therefore proved to be well tolerated and effective in women who did not breast-feed. Despite critics' complaints that the placebo-controlled nature of the trial was both unethical and unnecessary, evaluation of the therapy against a placebo enhanced the statistical power of the study, yielded rapid results, gave health officials confidence to recommend the broad use of the therapy, and fostered the recommendation that other placebo-controlled trials be changed.