Q and A

Question

My viral load is high, can I breastfeed?

My daughter is 3 weeks old. I’ve not been breastfeeding her because I didn’t have very much milk. I now have a lot of milk. Is it OK to switch from formula to breast milk even if my viral load is high?

Answer

Thanks for getting in touch.

If your viral load is detectable and especially if it is high,  you need to keep to formula milk.

Otherwise, there is a high risk that your baby will become HIV positive.

Feeding guidelines for infants vary depending on where it is that a person lives. Breastfeeding in only recommended in some countries when viral load is undetectable.

With a high viral load there is a high risk of HIV transmission.

Also, for your own health, do you know why your viral load is detectable?

Are you taking HIV medicines? If yes, is your doctor planning to change these?

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