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March 6, 2002

Breastfeeding vs Formula-Feeding Among HIV-Infected Women in Resource-Poor Areas—Reply

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2002;287(9):1110-1113. doi:10.1001/jama.287.9.1109

In Reply: Dr Kent and Ms Brussel and colleagues question our conclusion that formula feeding resulted in better health outcome among participants in our randomized clinical trial than breastfeeding. We respond by summarizing our key findings.

From these key findings, we concluded that formula feeding was associated with better health outcome for HIV-1–infected mothers and their children than breastfeeding in our trial.

Although formula feeding provided clear benefits, it also conferred some risks, including higher incidence of dehydration and current diarrhea during the first 3 months (but not subsequently), poorer nutritional status, especially during the first 6 months, and a higher incidence of death due to sepsis. Thus, we advocate careful follow-up of formula fed infants with attention to these potential complications.