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Letters to the Editor

Indian Pediatrics 2001; 38: 684-685  



Many relevant issues arose within this study; however, it was not our aim to address these issues in the present article. All the points raised had been discussed by our team; however, for the sake of brevity and compactness of the manuscript, they had not been elaborated on. We have also highlighted some of the shortcomings of the present study under discussion:

1. This study did not aim to compare transmission rates in intervention vs. non-intervention groups. We have nevertheless mentioned in passing that in those, whom no intervention was offered, transmission rates were significantly higher.

2. The group we analyzed and followed up did not breastfeed their infants at all, in fact that (i.e., not breastfeeding) was one of our four arms. We have clarified in text that we have not assessed the individual beneficial effects of any one selected strategy. We wanted to highlight the fact that collectively these four arms/strategies were noted to be beneficial in the population studied.

3. The point of testing beyond the grey zone is well taken. Studies done at centers in populations that do not have access to P24 and PCR testing should test infants beyond 18 months of age for their infectivity. At the point of conducting this study, P24 and PCR were not available at our center.

4. The point of cost benefit is also well made. We have not dealt with the issue of costings of formula feeds, as this was again not part of our aims and objectives. Nonetheless, yes, this is a point to be taken into consideration, as is the issue of increased risk of external infections in non-breastfed infants.

Rashid H. Merchant,
501, Rang Mahal Society,
5th Floor, 2 Mount Mary Road,

Bandra (West), Mumbai 400 050,


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