Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
A woman, told by her doctor she has AIDS, breast-feeds her newly born - who gets HIV as result.

In countries where breast feeding is the overwhelming norm this may well be virtually incomprehensible to most mothers, certainly if they do not have at least the equivalent of a western high school education.  Even if they do, they might not have the ability to feed their child by any other means.

The self-protecting delusion for lawmakers and health givers alike would be that by passing such a law they have actually done anything useful or humane.  It is, in effect, a status crime: by virtue of her status as HIV positive and a mother with a new-born without adequate resources, she is a criminal.  Either let the child get HIV, let it starve or immediately give it up, if there are even provisions for legally surrendering a new-born in that society.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri May 1st, 2009 at 12:49:39 AM EST
From a lecture by a doctor specialised in this sort of thing I learnt that the order of least risk for transmission between mother and child is:

  1. No breast-milk.
  2. Only breast-milk.
  3. Mixed.

The order of 2 and 3 was the relevant point. If you give exclusively breastmilk the risk for transmission is less then if you generally use other food stuffs and sometimes gives brest milk. I do not remember the specifics of why this was the case. A law against breastfeeding might mean that someone who does not have HIV - a stigma in many socities. Thus with this law in place mothers might feel compelled to breastfeed in public in order to prevent stigma from attaching itself to them, while trying their best to give other foodstuffs in private. Thus creating greater risk for transmission.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Mon May 4th, 2009 at 09:36:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That is really interesting.  Maybe being fed only breast milk boosts the immune system and makes it a little more likely that the baby can fight the virus, whereas a diet of mostly other food is less likely to boost natural immunity so when breast fed infrequently, the baby can't fight off the virus and becomes more likely to contract HIV.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Mon May 4th, 2009 at 01:32:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That would be my guess to, but unfortunately it has slipped my memory wheter she said this or it is just a conclusion based on breast milk boostering the immune system in general.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Mon May 4th, 2009 at 04:12:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is also possible that it is a purely empirical result that has yet to be incorporated into a coherent theory.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon May 4th, 2009 at 04:52:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Top Diaries

Occasional Series