Acceptability of heat treating breast milk to prevent mother-to-child transmission of human immunodeficiency virus in Zimbabwe: A qualitative study

A. Kiersten Israel-Ballard, Catherine M. Maternowska, F. Barbara Abrams, Pamela Morrison, Livona Chitibura, Tsungai Chipato, M. Zvavahera Chirenje, S. Nancy Padian, Caroline J Chantry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although heat treatment of human milk is an official infant-feeding recommendation for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive mothers in Zimbabwe, its implementation has not been adequately addressed, because knowledge about the safety of this method is rudimentary and its acceptability is poorly understood. To address this knowledge gap, the authors conducted focus group discussions among mothers, grandmothers, midwives, and husbands in various regions of Zimbabwe. Although the practice of heat treating expressed human milk was initially met with skepticism because of potential obstacles, including time constraints and social and cultural stigma, a pattern of opinion reversal emerged in all groups. By the end of each discussion, participants believed that, given its affordability and its potential to protect infants from HIV infection, heat-treated human milk may be a feasible infant-feeding option for HIV-positive mothers in Zimbabwe. These findings merit further investigation so that appropriate behavioral strategies can be designed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-60
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Human Lactation
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2006

Keywords

  • Expressed breast milk
  • Heat treatment
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Infant feeding
  • Mother-to-child transmission (MTCT)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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    Israel-Ballard, A. K., Maternowska, C. M., Abrams, F. B., Morrison, P., Chitibura, L., Chipato, T., Chirenje, M. Z., Padian, S. N., & Chantry, C. J. (2006). Acceptability of heat treating breast milk to prevent mother-to-child transmission of human immunodeficiency virus in Zimbabwe: A qualitative study. Journal of Human Lactation, 22(1), 48-60. https://doi.org/10.1177/0890334405283621