Open Access Highly Accessed Editorial

Breastfeeding and HIV: experiences from a decade of prevention of postnatal HIV transmission in sub-Saharan Africa

Karen Marie I Moland12*, Marina M de Paoli3, Daniel W Sellen4, Penny van Esterik5, Sebalda C Leshabari6 and Astrid Blystad17

Author Affiliations

1 Centre for International Health, University of Bergen, Norway

2 Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Bergen University College, Norway

3 Fafo Institute for Applied International Studies, Oslo, Norway

4 Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto, Canada

5 Department of Anthropology, York University, Canada

6 Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS), Tanzania

7 Department of Public Health and Primary Health Care, University of Bergen, Norway

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International Breastfeeding Journal 2010, 5:10  doi:10.1186/1746-4358-5-10

Published: 26 October 2010


Infant feeding by HIV-infected mothers has been a major global public health dilemma and a highly controversial matter. The controversy is reflected in the different sets of WHO infant feeding guidelines that have been issued over the last two decades. This thematic series, 'Infant feeding and HIV: lessons learnt and ways ahead' highlights the multiple challenges that HIV-infected women, infant feeding counsellors and health systems have encountered trying to translate and implement the shifting infant feeding recommendations in different local contexts in sub-Saharan Africa. As a background for the papers making up the series, this editorial reviews the changes in the guidelines in view of the roll out of prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) programmes in sub-Saharan Africa between 2001 and 2010.