The Optimal Scenario And Context Of Care


First Published:
August 2021
Last Updated:
August 2021
Resource Type:
Educational Resource


The Optimal Scenario and Context of Care: Infant Feeding Guidance for People with HIV is a comprehensive and up-to-date resource that offers essential guidance for healthcare providers regarding infant feeding options for people living with HIV in Australia. Recognising the importance of informed decision-making, this resource facilitates a shared decision-making process between healthcare providers and individuals living with HIV to ensure that the best choices are made about infant feeding.

In recent years, there has been a growing understanding among healthcare providers, researchers, and clinicians that breastfeeding can be a viable option for people living with HIV if specific criteria are followed, along with strategies to reduce the risk of HIV transmission. The Optimal Scenario, outlined in a significant discussion paper published in the Swiss Medical Weekly in 2018, summarises the conditions under which breastfeeding can be considered safe and feasible for individuals living with HIV.

This guidance provides a set of recommendations for healthcare providers to navigate the complexities of infant feeding options in the context of HIV. It emphasises the importance of practicing gender-inclusive language and respecting the choices of people living with HIV. While formula feeding is considered the safest choice to minimise HIV transmission, the resource encourages a shared decision-making approach, accompanied by counselling and a risk management strategy for those who choose to breastfeed.

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