Breast Milk May Prevent HIV Transmission

Breast Milk May Prevent HIV Transmission

By Shinji Tutoru

UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA, USA. Who would have thought that breast milk could possibly be the answer to HIV transmission? It appears that breast milk has an unknown component that can kill cells that are affected with the virus and HIV particles. It was also tested on mice with HIV and breast milk was able to block the transmission of the virus.

There are so many HIV-positive mothers around the world giving birth to HIV-negative babies. However, 15 percent of these babies acquire HIV later on in their early childhood. Breastfeeding was one of the factors considered for the transmission since HIV can be passed on through the mother’s breast milk. On the contrary, some recent studies implied that breast milk could possibly have antiviral properties after all. It was just vague whether breast milk could actually prevent the transmission of HIV.

To make the study even more accurate, Angela Wahl and her research team created mice with human bone marrow to experiment on. The rodents also had human thymus tissues and human liver which were all infected with HIV when the mice were given an oral dose of the virus. On the other hand, mice with the same human organs that were fed with HIV-infected breast milk were not affected by the virus at all. As claimed by J. Victor Garcia who headed the research, it has been proven that breast milk has the natural ability to kill HIV.

Right now, researchers are still trying to discover the ingredient in breast milk that keeps the virus from being transmitted. It will surely be a medical breakthrough once this miracle component has been identified. In the future, it could also be the answer to other kinds of sexually transmitted HIV.

Invention Breast Milk
Organization University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
Researcher J. Victor Garcia , Angela Wahl and Research Team
Field(s) HIV, AIDS, Human Immune System, Breast Milk, Infectious Diseases, HIV Treatment
Further Information New Scientist

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