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Breast Milk Kills HIV And Blocks Its Oral Transmission In Humanized Mouse

Posted Jun 15 2012 5:58pm

More than 15 percent of new HIV infections occur in children. Without treatment, only 65 percent of HIV-infected children will live until their first birthday, and fewer than half will make it to the age of two. Although breastfeeding is attributed to a significant number of these infections, most breastfed infants are not infected with HIV, despite prolonged and repeated exposure.

HIV researchers have been left with a conundrum: does breast milk transmit the virus or protect against it?

New research from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine explores this paradox in a humanized mouse model, demonstrating that breast milk has a strong virus killing effect and protects against oral transmission of HIV.

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