Wangari Tharao, Program and Research Manager at Women’s Health in Women’s Hands in Canada, talks with HIVE’s Shannon Weber about infant feeding for women living with HIV. They discuss possible consequences for women who don’t breastfeed in their communities, the cultural meaning of breastfeeding, and the stigma of bottle feeding.

Wangari says that, “breastfeeding is viewed as a measure of competence in motherhood,” and that, “people will assume that a woman is HIV positive if she doesn’t breastfeed and that can be very stigmatizing.”

Wangari and Shannon also talk about how best to educate women about the risk so that they can make their decision with all the correct information. Wangari gives examples of things women can say to avoid being outed as living with HIV.