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Awareness of mother-to-child transmission of human T-cell lymphotropic virus (HTLV) type I through breastfeeding in a small group of HTLV-positive women in Maripasoula and Papaïchton, French Guiana.

Abstract : The aim of this study was to assess the awareness of human T-cell lymphotropic virus (HTLV) transmission, especially through breastfeeding, in a small group of 40 HTLV-seropositive women in French Guiana and to examine the public health policies in place to reduce transmission. The results show that the majority of HTLV-positive women were aware of having a blood virus, diagnosed antenatally, and were advised to avoid breastfeeding. This advice was followed in the majority of cases despite financial difficulty. Participants were largely unaware of other modes of transmission. Public awareness was low, leading to increased stigmatising of people with HTLV, more so than HIV. Health policies in place to reduce transmission of HTLV are focused on vertical transmission, with women being routinely tested antenatally and advised to avoid breastfeeding. There was no further advice routinely given on other modes of transmission. There was no routine follow-up of HTLV-positive women. Suggestions include public education programmes such as those that are in place for HIV, education of healthcare workers, and setting up a network for systematic follow-up and support of HTLV patients.
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Submitted on : Monday, July 11, 2011 - 4:34:36 PM
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Tolullah Oni, Félix Djossou, Michel Joubert, Jean-Michel Heraud. Awareness of mother-to-child transmission of human T-cell lymphotropic virus (HTLV) type I through breastfeeding in a small group of HTLV-positive women in Maripasoula and Papaïchton, French Guiana.. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene / Transactions of the Royal Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 2006, 100 (8), pp.715-8. ⟨10.1016/j.trstmh.2005.11.009⟩. ⟨pasteur-00607905⟩

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