Vitamin A supplements for reducing mother-to-child HIV transmission.

Authors: Wiysonge CS, Ndze VN, Kongnyuy EJ, Shey MS.

Source: Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2017, Issue 9. Art. No.: CD003648. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003648.pub4.

Strategies to reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) include lifelong antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV-positive women, exclusive breastfeeding from birth for six weeks plus nevirapine or replacement feeding plus nevirapine from birth for four to six weeks, elective Caesarean section delivery, and avoiding giving children chewed food. In some settings, these interventions may not be practical, feasible, or affordable. Simple, inexpensive, and effective interventions (that could potentially be implemented even in the absence of prenatal HIV testing programmes) would be valuable. Vitamin A, which plays a role in immune function, is one low-cost intervention that has been suggested in such settings.

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