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January 24, 1986

AIDS and Breast Milk

JAMA. 1986;255(4):464. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370040034010

To the Editor.—  In the Aug 16, 1985, issue of JAMA is a book review favoring the value of human milk banking.1 Recently Ziegler et al2 reported a case where a newborn apparently contracted the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) virus through breast milk from his mother. The child was delivered by cesarean section and the mother contracted the AIDS virus after blood transfusion given in conjunction with her cesarean section. In the reported case, the blood transfusion was given after delivery, and the baby was breast-fed for six weeks. Thirteen months later, AIDS developed in the donor of one of the units of blood used for transfusion, resulting in testing of the mother and the child.Both the mother and the child were then found to be HTLV-III positive. The mother had AIDS-related complex. The baby had a transient episode of failure to thrive and then developed lymphadenopathy