Mainstream confusions: breast milk infects and also protects
Posted by Henry Bauer on 2012/06/16
If the HIV/AIDS blunder weren’t such a tangible, deadly tragedy for innumerable people, one could enjoy many laughs at the contortions of mainstream researchers as they pretend to explain the inexplicable and contradict their own long held dogmas without acknowledging it. For example, Kevin de Cock’s admission that there had never been and would never be a global epidemic of sexually transmitted HIV [WHO SAYS that WE’VE BEEN VERY WRONG about HIV and AIDS? (Clue: WHO = World Health Organization)].
Then there’s the shibboleth that circumcision protects against transmission of HIV, despite the CDC’s own finding that it does not (Circumcision and condom idiocies).
One of the longest standing and most robustly asserted dogmas has been that “HIV-positive” mothers transmit HIV to their infants — despite the array of actual studies showing that this is not the case, since exclusively breastfed babies are the least likely to become “HIV-positive”. Now the experts have discovered, instead, that breast milk actually contains a substance that actually kills HIV:
“Human breast milk may block HIV, mouse study finds”.
Google reports that this earth-shattering news was disseminated in media all over the world, including for example Britain’s Daily Mail and India’s Hindustan Times.
The original research piece is Open Access, freely available: Wahl et al., “Human breast milk and antiretrovirals dramatically reduce oral HIV-1 transmission in BLT humanized mice”, PLoS Pathogens 8(6): e1002732. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1002732.
This authoritative source doesn’t quite justify the avalanche of media trumpeting, though. Leave aside that the work was done on “humanized mice”. The authors still cite breastfeeding as a major way that babies become “HIV-positive”, merely say that breast milk strongly inhibits “HIV infectivity”, and they still laud antiretroviral drugs for pre-exposure prophylaxis:
Currently, over 15% of new HIV infections occur in children. Breastfeeding is a major contributor to HIV infections in infants. This represents a major paradox in the field because in vitro, breast milk has been shown to have a strong inhibitory effect on HIV infectivity. However, this inhibitory effect has never been demonstrated in vivo. Here, we address this important paradox using the first humanized mouse model of oral HIV transmission. We established that reconstitution of the oral cavity and upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract of humanized bone marrow/liver/thymus (BLT) mice with human leukocytes, including the human cell types important for mucosal HIV transmission (i.e. dendritic cells, macrophages and CD4+ T cells), renders them susceptible to oral transmission of cell-free and cell-associated HIV. Oral transmission of HIV resulted in systemic infection of lymphoid and non-lymphoid tissues that is characterized by the presence of HIV RNA in plasma and a gradual decline of CD4+ T cells in peripheral blood. Consistent with infection of the oral cavity, we observed virus shedding into saliva. We then evaluated the role of human breast milk on oral HIV transmission. Our in vivo results demonstrate that breast milk has a strong inhibitory effect on oral transmission of both cell-free and cell-associated HIV. Finally, we evaluated the effect of antiretrovirals on oral transmission of HIV. Our results show that systemic antiretrovirals administered prior to exposure can efficiently prevent oral HIV transmission in BLT mice.”
This entry was posted on 2012/06/16 at 12:51 pm and is filed under antiretroviral drugs, HIV in children, HIV transmission, uncritical media. Tagged: breastfeeding, humanized mice. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.