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If a woman is infected with HIV, or has been exposed to HIV, is it safe for her to breastfeed?

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  • If a woman is infected with HIV, or has been exposed to HIV, is it safe for her to breastfeed?

The US Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that HIV-infected women do not breastfeed. HIV can be passed from mother to child through breast milk. By not breastfeeding, transmission (spread) of HIV to infants through breast milk can be avoided.

Also, if you have HIV and are taking drugs to treat HIV these can be passed through breast milk to the baby. This is another reason why women who are taking drugs to treat HIV should not breastfeed.

If you’re pregnant and are worried that you’ve been exposed to HIV, you should get tested as soon as possible.