Another piece of bad news for our friends at Nestle, who are keen to move African babies off the breast and onto their excellent milk substitutes.
A new study has found that African babies who are exclusively breastfed are far less likely to develop HIV-1 infection.
This new discovery is at odds with earlier findings, which had suggested that breast milk was one of the main ways that the infection is transmitted, but it appears that those babies were also eating solids along with breast milk.
When researchers looked at babies who were being exclusively breastfed, they found they were developing a natural immunity. In fact, babies who were breastfed and being fed solids were almost twice as likely to die from infection than those who were exclusively breastfed.
(Source: Lancet, 2007; 369: 1065-6).