We're building a better ClinicalTrials.gov. Check it out and tell us what you think!
ClinicalTrials.gov Menu

Zambia Exclusive Breastfeeding Study

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00310726
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : April 4, 2006
Last Update Posted : July 27, 2011
United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Information provided by:
Boston Medical Center

Brief Summary:
The study is designed as a randomized, controlled trial with specific observational objectives. All HIV-seropositive pregnant subjects electing to breastfeed their child will be counselled to exclusively breastfeed through 4 months of age. All live-born children will be randomized (1:1) at birth to one of two counseling programs: A) to encourage abrupt weaning at 4 months of age, or B) to encourage exclusive breastfeeding through 6 months of age with the introduction of typical weaning foods ad lib.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
HIV Infection Other: abrupt weaning at 4 months Other: Continued exclusive breastfeeding Not Applicable

Detailed Description:
It is well established that infants breast fed by their HIV-infected mothers are at risk of acquiring HIV infection through breast milk. However, in low resource settings, where the HIV epidemic now predominates, breast feeding cannot simply be replaced by breast milk substitutes since alternatives to breast milk are unavailable, unaffordable and unsafe. With this application we aim to test the safety and efficacy of short duration exclusive breast feeding to minimize risks of HIV transmission without increasing risks of non-HIV infant mortality. We propose a 5-year study of HIV-positive mothers and their children to be conducted in two urban primary health care clinics in Lusaka, Zambia. All HIV-positive women and their infants will be offered the two-dose nevirapine intervention and will be counseled about the risks and benefits of infant feeding options. Women who indicate their decision to breast feed will be eligible for enrollment into the study. A culturally appropriate, affordable and sustainable breast feeding education and support program to encourage exclusive breast feeding will be developed, and all women who elect to breast feed will be encouraged to exclusively breast feed to 4 months. Half of the women will be randomized to a counseling program which will encourage abrupt weaning to full replacement feeding at 4 months, and half will be randomized to a program to encourage continued breast feeding after 4 months with the usual introduction of weaning foods. Children will be followed for two years with regular medical histories, physical exams and clinical sampling. The primary objective of the study, based on the random assignment, is to compare HIV transmission rates and under-2 year mortality rates in children who abruptly wean at four months of age versus children who are weaned according to local practice. The second primary objective, based on observational comparisons, is to compare HIV transmission among infants whose mothers adhere to recommendations to exclusively breast feed with those who do not. Secondary objectives are to describe acute and chronic effects of abrupt weaning on child morbidity. The study proposes to test an inexpensive and potentially sustainable public health intervention to reduce HIV transmission through breast feeding while preserving benefits of breast feeding for other aspects of child health in a very low resource setting.

Layout table for study information
Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 1435 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: Short Duration Exclusive Breastfeeding With Abrupt Weaning to Reduce the Risk of Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission
Study Start Date : May 2001
Actual Primary Completion Date : December 2006
Actual Study Completion Date : December 2006

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Abrupt Weaning
Women were counseled to abruptly wean their child at 4 months of age.
Other: abrupt weaning at 4 months
abrupt weaning at 4 months

Active Comparator: Exclusive breastfeeding per WHO guidelines
Women were counseled to adhere to the WHO recommendations for duration of exclusive breastfeeding.
Other: Continued exclusive breastfeeding
Continued exclusive breastfeeding

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. HIV infection detected by 4 months among children with no evidence of HIV infection at birth. [ Time Frame: 24 months of age ]
  2. Magnitude of the reduction in mother-to-child HIV transmission and the magnitude of the increase in non-HIV-related under-2-year mortality, attributable to cessation of breastfeeding at 4 months.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

Layout table for eligibility information
Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 40 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • HIV-positive pregnant women identified through VCT
  • After counseling about the risks and benefits of feeding alternatives report that it is their intended decision to breastfeed
  • Live within the catchment area of George or Chawama clinic
  • Are between 30 - 34 wks gestation. (To insure that opportunity exists to receive a minimum of 2 lactation counseling sessions prior to delivery)
  • Do not have any significant presenting illness that requires hospitalization
  • Agree to adhere to the requirements of study participation (including exclusive breastfeeding and randomization into one of two infant feeding groups at four months).
  • Willing to inform a household member (preferably husband/father) of HIV-status.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Lives outside of catchment area;
  • Have known major illnesses likely to influence pregnancy outcome including diabetes, severe renal or heart disease, or active tuberculosis, prior to randomization;
  • Does not intend to breastfeed;
  • Prior enrollment in this study or concurrent enrollment in another study

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT00310726

Layout table for location information
George and Chawama District Health Clinics
Lusaka, Zambia
Sponsors and Collaborators
Boston Medical Center
United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Layout table for investigator information
Principal Investigator: Louise Kuhn, PhD Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center, and Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
Principal Investigator: Donald M Thea, MD, MSc Department of International Health, Boston University School of Public Health
Publications of Results:

Other Publications:
Publications automatically indexed to this study by ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier (NCT Number):
Layout table for additonal information
Responsible Party: Donald M. Thea, Boston Medical Center
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00310726    
Other Study ID Numbers: R01HD039611 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
R01HD039611 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
First Posted: April 4, 2006    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: July 27, 2011
Last Verified: July 2011
Keywords provided by Boston Medical Center:
Mother to Child Transmission of HIV
Postnatal HIV transmission
Perinatal HIV Transmission
HIV Seronegativity
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Layout table for MeSH terms
HIV Infections
Blood-Borne Infections
Communicable Diseases
Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Viral
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Lentivirus Infections
Retroviridae Infections
RNA Virus Infections
Virus Diseases
Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes
Immune System Diseases