Saturday, November 29, 2003

Health Tips... from UPI - The Washington Times: United Press International: "WHY BREAST-FED INFANTS RESIST HIV INFECTION

Researchers say anti-viral agents in an infant's saliva may protect the child from breast-feeding related HIV. While breast feeding is estimated to cause one-third to one-half of new infant HIV-1 infections worldwide, most breast-fed infants with HIV-positive mothers remain uninfected. Scientists at Emory University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta identified factors that can affect transmission of HIV through breastfeeding. Scientists believe while breeches in an infant's intestinal lining may allow the virus entry, anti-viral agents in an infant's saliva may present a hostile environment to the virus, diverting infection. The presence of HIV antibody in saliva already has been recognized in HIV-infected individuals, but scientists do not yet know whether this antibody is developed in non-infected breast-fed infants. "

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