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HIV and infant feeding: an interim statement. VIH et alimentation du jeune enfant: declaration interimaire.
WEEKLY EPIDEMIOLOGICAL RECORD. 1996 Sep 27; 71(39):289-91.This interim statement contains key elements which should inform the now crucial development of policies on HIV infection and infant feeding. The human rights perspective acknowledges that all women and men have the right to determine the course of their reproductive life and to receive health-protecting information and services. Decisions about the welfare of children should further the best interests of the child. Because most infected children have been infected by their mothers, high priority should be given to policies and programs which seek to reduce the vulnerability of women to HIV infection by improving their status in society. While breast feeding offers substantial health benefits to both mothers and infants, preliminary studies suggest that one-seventh of the children born to and breast fed by infected mothers are at risk of HIV transmission through breast milk. A policy on HIV and infant feeding should 1) support breast feeding, 2) improve access to HIV counseling and testing, 3) ensure that parents have an informed choice about how to feed their infant, and 4) prevent commercial pressures for artificial feeding.