TABLE 1.

Potential Risk Factors for Human Milk Transmission of HIV-1

CategoryRisk Factor
Duration of breastfeedingLonger duration
Maternal characteristicsYounger age
Higher parity
Lower CD4+ count
Higher peripheral blood viral load
Breast abnormalities
 Breast abscess
 Mastitis
 Nipple lesions
Infant characteristicsOral candidiasis
Human milk characteristicsHigher viral load
Lower concentrations of antiviral substances (eg, lactoferrin, lysozyme, SLPI, epidermal growth factor)
Lower concentration of virus-specific cytotoxic T-lymphocytes
Lower secretory IgA
Lower IgM
Exclusivity of breastfeedingMixed breastfeeding
  • IgA indicates immunoglobulin A, IgM, immunoglobulin M.