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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2009 Sep 25. [Epub ahead of print]

Early Weaning of HIV-Exposed Uninfected Infants and Risk of Serious Gastroenteritis: Findings from Two Perinatal HIV Prevention Trials in Kampala, Uganda.

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  • 1From the *Makerere University-Johns Hopkins University Research Collaboration/MU-JHU CARE LTD, Kampala, Uganda; daggerDepartment of Epidemiology and Biostatistics Makerere University School of Public Health, Kampala, Uganda; double daggerStatistical Center for HIV/AIDS Research and Prevention (SCHARP), Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA; section signHubert Department of Global Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA; paragraph signDepartment of Pediatrics and Child Health, Makerere University School of Medicine, Kampala, Uganda; parallelDivision of AIDS, NIAID, NIH, Rockville, MD; and #Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD.


OBJECTIVE:: To assess serious gastroenteritis risk and mortality associated with early cessation of breastfeeding in infants enrolled in 2 prevention of maternal-to-child HIV-transmission trials in Uganda. METHODS:: We used hazard rates to evaluate serious gastroenteritis events by month of age and mortality among HIV-exposed uninfected infants enrolled in the HIV Network for Prevention Trials (HIVNET 012) (1997-2001) and HIV hyperimmune globulin (HIVIGLOB)/nevirapine (NVP) (2004-2007) trials. HIV-infected mothers were counseled using local infant feeding guidelines current at the time. RESULTS:: Breastfeeding cessation occurred earlier in HIVIGLOB/NVP compared with HIVNET 012 (median 4.0 versus 9.3 months, P < 0.001). Rates of serious gastroenteritis were higher in HIVIGLOB/NVP (8.0/1000 child-months) than in HIVNET 012 (3.1/1000 child-months; P < 0.001). Serious gastroenteritis events also peaked earlier at 3-4 and 7-8 months (16.2/1000 and 15.0/1000 child-months, respectively) compared with HIVNET 012 at 9-10 months (20.8/1000 child-months). All cause infant mortality did not statistically differ between the HIVIGLOB/NVP and the HIVNET 012 trials [3.2/1000 versus 2.0/1000 child-months, respectively (P = 0.10)]. CONCLUSIONS:: Early breastfeeding cessation seen in the HIVIGLOB/NVP trial was associated with increased risk of serious gastroenteritis among HIV-exposed uninfected infants when compared with later breastfeeding cessation in the HIVNET 012 trial. Testing interventions, which could decrease HIV transmission through breastfeeding and allow safe breastfeeding into the second year of life, are urgently needed.

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