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Can Hiv Be Transmitted Through Breast Milk

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Can HIV Be Passed Through Breast Milk? | HIV Prevention | Mother to Child Transmission of HIV

Identification Of Hiv Target Cells In The Upper Gi Tract Of Blt Mice

Although the oral mucosa is the first surface exposed to HIV that is transmitted through breastfeeding, it is not clear if transmission occurs in the oral cavity or in the upper GI tract of infants. HIV is typically inactivated in acidic environments like the stomach but the pH of the infant stomach is considerably higher than that of adults which may allow transmission to occur in the upper GI tract. Therefore, we used IHC to determine if the human cell types important for HIV transmission are present in the esophagus, stomach and upper small intestine of BLT mice. IHC analysis demonstrated the presence of CD45+ human cells in the esophagus, stomach and duodenum of BLT mice. Specifically, human dendritic cells, macrophages and CD4+ T cells were all present in these tissues . We also identified a dense population of human hematopoietic cells at the gastroesophageal junction, where the esophagus joins the stomach .

The esophagus, stomach and duodenum were harvested from BLT mice for IHC analysis to determine if these potential sites for HIV transmission following an oral exposure possess HIV target cells. The tissues harvested were stained with the appropriate antibodies to verify the presence of human leukocytes including dendritic cells , macrophages and T cells , specifically, CD4+ T cells . Positive cells appear brown. Scale bars=100 µm.

Pregnancy Childbirth & Breastfeeding And Hiv


  • A pregnant woman living with HIV can pass on the virus to her baby during pregnancy, childbirth and through breastfeeding.
  • If you are a woman living with HIV, taking antiretroviral treatment correctly during pregnancy and breastfeeding can virtually eliminate the risk of passing on the virus to your baby.
  • Attending antenatal appointments means you can get tested for HIV and if needed receive treatment and medical advice to help keep you and your baby healthy.

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  • HIV can pass from mother to baby during pregnancy or birth or via breastmilk.
  • Due to treatment advances, mother to child transmission of HIV is very rare in Australia.
  • With medical support, the HIV transmission rate from mother with HIV taking antiretroviral treatment to their unborn child is 1% or less in Australia.

Hiv/aids In Pregnant Women And Infants

HIV and Getting Pregnant

Human immunodeficiency virus is the virus that causes AIDS. When a person becomes infected with HIV, the virus attacks and weakens the immune system. As the immune system weakens, the person is at risk of getting life-threatening infections and cancers. When that happens, the illness is called AIDS.

HIV can be transmitted to the fetus or the newborn during pregnancy, during labor or delivery, or by breastfeeding.

This article is about HIV/AIDS in pregnant women and infants.

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Prevention Of Oral Hiv Transmission By Antiretroviral Pre

Previously our laboratory demonstrated that BLT mice administered systemic pre-exposure prophylaxis of emtricitabine /tenofovir disoproxil fumarate were efficiently protected from HIV-1 infection following intravenous, rectal and vaginal challenges , . To assess whether systemic FTC/TDF PrEP can also prevent oral transmission of HIV-1 in BLT mice, we administered systemic FTC/TDF to BLT mice once daily for 7 days and exposed mice orally to cell-free HIV-1JR-CSF 3 hours after the third administration of antiretrovirals as previously described , . Subsequently, HIV transmission was monitored in peripheral blood by measuring the plasma viral load. In addition, at necropsy we utilized real-time PCR to evaluate whether HIV DNA was present in the peripheral blood or any tissues harvested from BLT mice. No viral RNA was detected in the peripheral blood plasma of any BLT mouse receiving the 7-day course of systemic FTC/TDF at any time point post-exposure. We also did not detect the presence of HIV DNA in their peripheral blood or in any of their tissues at necropsy confirming lack of infection . These results demonstrate that oral transmission of HIV in BLT mice can be efficiently prevented by the administration of systemic FTC/TDF and serve as a proof of concept for future studies aimed at evaluating the efficacy of novel HAART strategies.

Transmission Of Hiv Via The Upper Gi Tract In Blt Mice

Following ingestion of breast milk from HIV-infected mothers, HIV transmission to neonates may occur in the oral cavity and/or upper GI tract. In BLT humanized mice, this could also be the case given the robust reconstitution of the oral cavity and upper GI tract with human dendritic cells, macrophages and CD4+ T cells. In order to determine if HIV transmission can occur distal to the esophagus, we introduced HIV-1JR-CSF directly into the stomach of BLT mice by oral gavage. After exposure by gavage, viral RNA could be readily detected in the plasma of all BLT mice two weeks post-exposure . This finding indicates that the mucosal surfaces of BLT mice distal to the oral cavity can be directly infected with HIV to effect transmission. These results serve as evidence for this mode of HIV transmission.

To determine if the upper GI tract of BLT mice is susceptible to HIV transmission, we evaluated HIV acquisition after a single direct administration of virus to the upper GI tract via gavage. Infection was monitored in peripheral blood by determining the levels of viral load in BLT mice receiving cell-free HIV-1JR-CSF directly into the stomach by gavage. The viral load for each mouse is indicated and the limit of detection for the assay is illustrated with a dashed line.

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How Is Hiv Passed Through Needles And Other Drug Use Or Body Work Equipment

HIV can be passed through blood that remains in used needles or other drug injection equipment, even if the amount of blood is so small it cant be seen. When a used needle containing blood with HIV breaks the skin of another person, HIV can get directly into their bloodstream. Once inside the bloodstream it can then cause a permanent infection. In the same way, HIV can be passed on by reusing unsterilized equipment for tattooing or piercing and through accidental needlestick injuries.

Sharing needles or other equipment used to inject drugs is the most common way that HIV is transmitted through broken skin. When a person injects drugs, blood can get into the needle/syringe or on other equipment they are using to inject or prepare their drugs. When someone uses a needle/syringe that has already been used by another person, there is a possibility that blood containing HIV is present. When a person prepares and injects drugs using shared equipment, blood that may contain HIV can directly enter their bloodstream through the broken skin. This is an efficient mode of transmission because the immune cells are the only natural defence against this type of HIV transmission. A larger amount of residual blood in the needle/syringe or other equipment and a higher amount of HIV in the blood can both increase the risk of injection-related HIV transmission.

What Happens Once Hiv Gets Into The Body

Is Breast Milk a Secret Weapon Against HIV?

Once HIV gets into the body, it needs to infect immune cells and make copies of itself to cause a permanent infection.

HIV cannot replicate on its own it needs to take over cells within the body to replicate. To do this it targets specific immune cells called CD4 T cells as well as other immune cells. HIV enters and takes control of the cell and starts to replicate. New copies of the virus are released into the blood that can then infect more immune cells.

If the virus can replicate for one to three days without being stopped, it can then spread to other parts of the body and establish a permanent infection. The bodys immune system defences are sometimes able to defeat HIV before it spreads and causes a permanent infection. Taking pre-exposure prophylaxis or post-exposure prophylaxis can also stop HIV from replicating and being able to establish a permanent infection.

About two-thirds of people newly infected with HIV experience symptoms of acute infection such as fever, chills, a rash, muscle aches, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, night sweats and mouth ulcers, which may last from a few days to a few weeks.

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Hiv In Breastmilk Killed By Flash

A simple method of flash-heating breast milk infected with HIV successfully inactivated the free-floating virus, according to a new study led by researchers at the Berkeley and Davis campuses of the University of California.

Notably, the technique heating a glass jar of expressed breast milk in a pan of water over a flame or single burner can be easily applied in the homes of mothers in resource-poor communities.

The findings, to appear in the July 1 print issue of the Journal of the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, but now available online, provide hope that mothers with HIV in developing nations will soon be able to more safely feed their babies.

“We conducted this research to help HIV-positive mothers and their infants who do not have safe alternatives to breastfeeding,” said Kiersten Israel-Ballard, a doctoral candidate at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health and lead author of the study. “HIV can be transmitted to the baby via breastfeeding. But for infants in developing countries where infant mortality is already so high from diarrhea and other illnesses, they can’t afford to lose the antibodies, other anti-infective agents and the optimal nutrition found in breast milk. This study shows that an easy-to-implement heating method can kill the HIV in breast milk.”

Research began from a question

World Health Organization guidelines

Need for clinical trials

Managing Illness As A Parent

Although medical advances now allow people with HIV to live full, healthy lives, you may have times where you or your partner is unwell or needs medical care.

As with any longer-term illness, this can impact on your ability to earn an income, manage a household or raise children.

Living with chronic illness can be a challenge and sometimes families need extra support. Trying to sort things out on your own can make life seem overwhelming. Dont be afraid to ask for help from expert organisations that support people with HIV.

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How Is Hiv Not Transmitted

HIV is not transmitted by saliva, tears, sweat, urine or feces. HIV does not survive well outside the human body. It cannot be transmitted through casual contact with a person who has HIV, or through objects such as toilet seats, doorknobs or dishes used by a person who has HIV.

In the past, some people got HIV after receiving a blood transfusion or organ or tissue transplant. However, Canada implemented HIV screening for all blood and tissue donations in 1985.


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    Is It Safe To Take Hiv Medication In Pregnancy

    How is HIV transmitted

    Some medicines for HIV aren’t suitable to take during pregnancy.

    If you have HIV and become pregnant, contact your local HIV clinic.

    This is important because:

    • some anti-HIV medicines can harm unborn babies, so your treatment plan will need to be reviewed
    • additional medicines may be needed to prevent your baby getting HIV

    But if you’re taking HIV medication and you become pregnant, do not stop taking your medication without first speaking to your GP.

    Always check with your GP or midwife before taking any medicine when you’re pregnant.

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    Misadministration Of Breast Milk

    Misadministration of breast milk, also known as misappropriation, breast milk exposure, and accidental ingestion of breast milk, and other terms, is a medical-legal issue when it occurs in a hospital. This scenario occurs when one infant receives breast milk from another mother by mistake. This occurrence can be very distressing to the families and medical staff involved. The actual risk for transmission of an infectious agent to an infant via a single ingestion of expressed breast milk from another mother is exceedingly low. In this scenario, the CDC recommends treating this as an accidental exposure to a body fluid, which could be infectious. Bacterial, fungal, or parasitic infection from the one exposure is highly unlikely. The concern is about viral pathogens, known to be blood-borne pathogens, which have been identified in breast milk and include but are not limited to hepatitis B virus , hepatitis C virus , cytomegalovirus , West Nile virus, human T-cell lymphotropic virus , and HIV.

    Additional important components of the hospital-based protocols for managing accidental expressed breast milk exposure include ongoing psychosocial support for the families and staff, documentation of medical discussions with the families, investigative steps, consents and interventions, and the demonstration of ongoing infection control efforts to prevent additional events of misadministration of breast milk.

    Exposure Of Humanized Blt Mice To Cell

    Stocks of HIV-1JR-CSF, HIV-1RHPA, HIV-1CH040, and HIV-1CH077, were prepared and titrated as previously described . Oral inoculations of mice were performed by placing anesthetized BLT mice on their backs and instilling virus directly into their mouth. To ensure that all surfaces of the oral cavity were exposed to virus, initial oral exposure experiments were performed with 2.82×106 TCIU of HIV-1JR-CSF diluted in RPMI medium or normal human breast milk to a final volume of 50 µl. Once all surfaces of the oral cavity were exposed to virus, the excess virus was pipetted out of the oral cavity and the volume measured to determine the actual inoculum . Mice were held in place for 5 minutes to ensure retention of the virus. Once mice recovered from anesthesia, they were permitted immediate access to food and water. Subsequent oral exposures to HIV-1JR-CSF were performed using a total volume of 20 µl and 1.4×106 TCIU of virus. BLT mice exposed orally to HIV-1 T/F viruses were administered 6×105 TCIU of HIV-1RHPA, HIV-1CH040, HIV-1CH077 or HIV-1JR-CSF in 20 µl RPMI medium. To assess the efficacy of systemic FTC/TDF PrEP on oral transmission of cell free HIV in BLT mice, mice were administered FTC/TDF intraperitonealy once daily for seven consecutive days. Three hours after the third administration of FTC/TDF, BLT mice were exposed orally to 1.4×106 TCIU cell-free HIV-1JR-CSF.

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    Risk Factors For Mother

    Univariate logistic regression models were fitted among the 328 HIV-1positive women to examine the relationship between maternal factors and mother-to-child transmission of HIV-1 at 6 weeks and 12 months of age . Elevated breast milk sodium concentration, maternal plasma HIV-1 load, and breast milk lactoferrin level were associated with significantly elevated risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV-1 by 6 weeks and 12 months of age. In a multivariate logistic regression analysis, maternal plasma HIV-1 load and elevated breast milk sodium were independently associated with significantly increased risk for mother-to-child transmission of HIV-1 to 6 weeks of age .

    Univariate and multivariate models for mother-to-child transmission of human immunodeficiency virus to 12 months.

    In the subsample of 134 women who had breast milk HIV-1 load measurements, multivariate logistic regression models were fitted to examine plasma and breast milk HIV-1 load as risk factors for mother-to-child transmission of HIV-1. Both plasma HIV-1 load and detectable breast milk HIV-1 load were independently associated with mother-to-child transmission of HIV-1 to 6 weeks of age. Both plasma HIV-1 load and detectable breast milk HIV-1 load were also associated with mother-to-child transmission of HIV-1 to 12 months of age.

    Reducing Hiv Transmission Risk During Pregnancy

    HTP on HIV | Is HIV transmitted by saliva or sweat?

    For HIV-positive women, ways to reduce the risk of transmission include:

    • Taking antiretroviral medications before conception to reduce your viral load . The lower the viral load, the lower the risk of transmission to your unborn baby.
    • Start antiretroviral HIV treatment as soon as you are diagnosed with HIV .

    Being on treatment and having a low, or undetectable, viral load improves your immune system and health throughout pregnancy.

    HIV-positive pregnancy today, with specialised care, is the same as HIV-negative pregnancy. Pregnancy does not make HIV progress any faster.

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