• Journal Article

Acceptability of heat treating breast milk to prevent mother-to-child transmission of human immunodeficiency virus in Zimbabwe: a qualitative study

Citation

Israel-Ballard, K. A., Maternowska, M. C., Abrams, B. F., Morrison, P., Chitibura, L., Chipato, T., ... Chantry, C. J. (2006). Acceptability of heat treating breast milk to prevent mother-to-child transmission of human immunodeficiency virus in Zimbabwe: a qualitative study. Journal of Human Lactation, 22(1), 48-60.

Abstract

Although heat treatment of human milk is an official infant-feeding recommendation for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive mothers in Zimbabwe, its implementation has not been adequately addressed, because knowledge about the safety of this method is rudimentary and its acceptability is poorly understood. To address this knowledge gap, the authors conducted focus group discussions among mothers, grandmothers, midwives, and husbands in various regions of Zimbabwe. Although the practice of heat treating expressed human milk was initially met with skepticism because of potential obstacles, including time constraints and social and cultural stigma, a pattern of opinion reversal emerged in all groups. By the end of each discussion, participants believed that, given its affordability and its potential to protect infants from HIV infection, heat-treated human milk may be a feasible infant-feeding option for HIV-positive mothers in Zimbabwe. These findings merit further investigation so that appropriate behavioral strategies can be designed