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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
Postnatal Transmission of HIV-1 Associated With Breast Abscess
Van de Perre, Philippe et al.
June 13, 1992
Lancet (06/13/92) Vol. 339, No. 8807, P. 1490

HIV-1 can be transmitted from mother to child during breastfeeding more than one year after the peak of viremia related to recent maternal infection, write Philippe Van de Perre et al. of the National AIDS Control Program in Kigali, Rwanda. Previously, Van de Perre et al. studied 16 Rwandan mothers followed up for a mean of 16.6 months, in whom HIV-1 seroconversion was diagnosed post partum and nine of their children became infected within the same 3-month period as the mother's seroconversion. But further research has found that after a mean follow-up period of 26.7 months, two new mothers were found to have seroconverted. Both late seroconversions transpired 24 months post partum in mothers who had stopped breastfeeding and the children remained HIV-negative up to the age of 36 months. One child who was uninfected in the original report contracted HIV infection 18 months after his mother's seroconversion. At month 28 his mother had no HIV-related signs but she had a severe breast abscess which required surgical treatment. Breastfeeding was stopped one week after the appearance of breast abscess. The fact that HIV-1 acquisition by the child was temporarily associated with a breast abscesses indicates that ingestion of inflammatory cells could contribute to postnatal transmission of HIV-1.