Prof. Pietro Vernazza of the Division of Infectious Diseases, Kantonsspital St. Gallen, Switzerland, talks with HIVE’s Shannon Weber about breastfeeding for women living with HIV. They weigh the risks and benefits of this, and discuss the soon-to-be-released, not-yet-finalized Swiss recommendations regarding vertical transmission.
Prof. Vernazza says, “We have to balance this [breastfeeding with HIV] very low risk, that seems to be nil, with the risk of not breastfeeding.”
Referring to the ethics around what to tell a mother living with HIV about breastfeeding, Prof. Vernazza recommends a shared decision-making process: “This is a situation where you should include the patient in this decision making.” He goes on to talk about reasons a mother might choose to breastfeed, and why she might decide against it.
For more information on breastfeeding for women living with HIV, check out this pamphlet.