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Breastfeeding Babes Infect Mothers With HIV

Kyrgyzstan mothers who did what they thought was best for their babies are now paying a potentially fatal price.

Seventy-two children were infected with HIV at two hospitals in the poverty stricken village of Osh.

And, since some mothers continued to nurse their tots, they contracted the virus that way.

MSNBC report about the children who were infected by tainted blood and shared needles said:

Although HIV infection from breastfeeding is rare, it is possible, usually when the baby has mouth sores and the mother has lesions on her nipples, according to AIDS experts. Mustafakulova, whose son was 7 months old at the time, said her breasts were cracked and bleeding.

To make matters worse, the mothers are not eligible for free treatment. To see why,

The article reported:

The infected children are getting free antiretroviral drugs, but their mothers have been denied treatment. Erkin Bakiyev, deputy director of the national AIDS center, said the women are not entitled to free drugs if they are in the early stages of infection, as Mustafakulova is. And the women have no money to buy the drugs themselves.


nobodymuch nobodymuch 9 years
um, how old were the babies when they were tested? I'm just not convinced that the test results from a breastfed 7 month old do not solely reflect maternal status -- I don't even know if such test results definitively prove that the baby is HIV positive. Either way, this is a tragedy, because we CAN prevent perinatal HIV transmission and we should be treating these women, but the story of getting HIV from a young breastfeeding infant is still fishy to me in this case.
anniems anniems 9 years
Actually, it's not necessary to start treatment just because someone is HIV positive. It is recommended to start if CD4 count is below 350, but before CD4 count falls below 200. The article does not go into a lot of detail except to say she is in an "early stage" so it's hard to form an opinion. She may not need to begin treatment yet and in a poor country their decision may be reasonable. How sad for all those children though :(
LaurenG22 LaurenG22 9 years
This is incredibly sad... wow... I am surprised I havent seen this story before!
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
This is outrageous!
abqmama abqmama 9 years
I can't believe this, it is so awful. So what is going to happen to the babies when the mothers dies from AIDS because they weren't able to get treated?
jedimasterarmi jedimasterarmi 9 years
this is so sad. T_T
ecb ecb 9 years
Unbelievable. Aren't antiretroviral drugs more effective in the early stages of HIV?
myconscience myconscience 9 years
that is outrageous. the babies were infected with HIV by the hospital? and the babies can be treated but not the mothers? i am speechless with anger at how screwed up this is.
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