Q and A

Question

I’m detectable and breastfeeding, is there a risk?

If my viral load is detectable and I’m breastfeeding is my baby at risk? My baby is on medication.

Answer

Thanks for getting in touch.

Guidelines relating to breastfeeding and HIV positive mothers vary depending on where a woman lives globally. In the UK breastfeeding isn’t advised and this is even when someone has an undetectable viral load.

If a woman who is positive is breastfeeding when their viral load is detectable, then yes there is a risk of transmission. This is even if the baby is on medication. As to the level of risk its not possible to say. If in doubt the best and safest option is to give a baby formula.

11 comments

  1. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Jane,

    Please don’t be worried, but it’s important to see your doctor about symptoms of mastitis as soon as you can.

    It’s great that you’re undetectable, and also if you’re breastfeeding only, then you’re doing all you can to protect your baby from HIV.

    But mastitis can increase risk of HIV to your baby. Please see your doctor quickly, and talk about the best way to feed your baby now.

Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *