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Preventing HIV transmission during breastfeeding

last modified Jan 27, 2014 04:43 PM
Preventing HIV transmission during breastfeeding

Stephen Gerrard

In order to reduce the transmission of HIV from mother to baby during breastfeeding, scientists are developing a low-cost, modified nipple shield which dispenses antiviral compounds.

Stephen Gerrard, a PhD student in this Department, features in the video below. He said: "The nipple shield could also deliver anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) to non-infected infants - infant ARV prophylaxes (medicines given to prevent disease) is recommended by the World Health Organization if there is no acceptable, feasible, affordable, sustainable and safe alternative to breastfeeding for an HIV+ mother to her infant.

"This may also be an easier method of delivery than using oral syrup syringes, the current advised method of administration, and provide a new route for the delivery of many infant medications and nutritional supplements."

The 'JustMilk' project stemmed from the International Design Development Summit 2008.