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Effect of Postnatal HIV Treatment on Clinical Mastitis and Breast Inflammation in HIV-Infected Breast-Feeding Women


Zadrozny, Sabrina; Westreich, Daniel J.; Hudgens, Michael G.; Chasela, Charles S.; Jamieson, Denise J.; Martinson, Francis E. A.; Zimba, Chifundo; Tegha, Gerald; Hoffman, Irving F.; & Miller, William C., et al. (2017). Effect of Postnatal HIV Treatment on Clinical Mastitis and Breast Inflammation in HIV-Infected Breast-Feeding Women. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, 31(2), 134-143. PMCID: PMC6029881


BACKGROUND: The relationship between mastitis and antiretroviral therapy among HIV-positive, breast-feeding women is unclear.
METHODS: In the Breastfeeding, Antiretrovirals, and Nutrition (BAN) study, conducted in Lilongwe, Malawi, 2369 mother-infant pairs were randomized to a nutritional supplement group and to one of three treatment groups: maternal antiretroviral therapy (ART), infant nevirapine (NVP) or standard of care for 24 weeks of exclusive breast-feeding and 4 weeks of weaning. Among 1472 HIV-infected women who delivered live infants between 2004 and 2007, we estimated cumulative incidence functions and sub-distribution hazard ratios (HR) of mastitis or breast inflammation comparing women in maternal ART (n = 487) or infant nevirapine (n = 492) groups to the standard of care (n = 493). Nutritional supplement groups (743 took, 729 did not) were also compared.
RESULTS: Through 28-weeks post-partum, 102 of 1472 women experienced at least one occurrence of mastitis or breast inflammation. The 28-week risk was higher for maternal ART (risk difference (RD) 4.5, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.9, 8.1) and infant NVP (RD 3.6, 95% CI 0.3, 6.9) compared to standard of care. The hazard of late-appearing mastitis or breast inflammation (from week 5-28) was also higher for maternal ART (HR 6.7, 95% CI 2.0, 22.6) and infant NVP (HR 5.1, 95% CI 1.5, 17. 5) compared to the standard of care.
CONCLUSIONS: Mastitis or breast inflammation while breast-feeding is a possible side effect for women taking prophylactic ART and women whose infants take NVP, warranting additional research in the context of postnatal HIV transmission.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology


Zadrozny, Sabrina
Westreich, Daniel J.
Hudgens, Michael G.
Chasela, Charles S.
Jamieson, Denise J.
Martinson, Francis E. A.
Zimba, Chifundo
Tegha, Gerald
Hoffman, Irving F.
Miller, William C.
Pence, Brian W.
King, Caroline C.
Kourtis, Athena P.
Msungama, Wezi
van der Horst, Charles M., for the UNC Project BAN Study Team