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Breastfeeding practices of HIV‐positive and HIV‐negative women in Kabarole district, Uganda

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Ugandan policy regarding infant feeding for HIV‐positive mothers is replacement feeding (RF), if feasible; otherwise, exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) for 3 months is advised (or EBF for 6 months, if RF is still not feasible). HIV‐negative mothers should practise EBF for 6 months. The study objective was to explore the association between maternal HIV status and breastfeeding practices in Kabarole, Uganda. Data were collected from questionnaires administered at home to 182 women (44 HIV‐positive and 138 HIV‐negative) 3 months post‐partum and from medical charts. The HIV‐negative women were matched on delivery date to HIV‐positive women at a ratio of 3:1. Interviewers were blinded to HIV status. There was no statistically significant association between adherence to Ugandan national feeding guidelines and maternal HIV status in bivariate analysis [odds ratio (OR) = 1.52; confidence interval (CI): 0.76–3.04]. Multivariate analyses showed a significant association between adherence to feeding guidelines and child illness (OR = 0.40; CI: 0.21–0.79) and between adherence to feeding guidelines and rural residence in Burahya county (OR = 2.43; CI: 1.15–5.13). Many mothers do not follow the feeding guidelines for HIV infection. This region‐specific information on breastfeeding practice determinants will be used to inform local Prevention of Mother‐to‐Child Transmission (PMTCT) programmes. The nature of the association between child illness and EBF should be further explored.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Alberta, School of Public Health, 3-50 University Terrace, 8303-112 Street, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6G 2T4, 2: Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital, Fort Portal, Kabarole Kamwenge road, Uganda

Publication date: October 1, 2011

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