Children vertically exposed to HIV demand care related to prophylaxis, follow-up in specialised service and food and nutrition. Breastmilk is the best way to feed a child and one of the most important interventions to reduce the risk of infant mortality. On the other hand, HIV positive women are discouraged from breastfeeding because of the risk of HIV transmission. Thus, in Brazil, children are guaranteed by law the integral and free supply of infant formula. Recognising the dependence of family care provided by feeding vertically exposed children to HIV, a research was developed to evaluate the family capacity to take care of the feeding of children exposed to HIV. A cross-sectional study, with the population of children born to caregivers exposed to HIV, aged zero to 24 months old, ongoing monitoring of health referral service in southern Brazil. Data collection performed with the application of the Scale to assess the capacity to care for children exposed to HIV and the Brazilian Scale of Food Insecurity. occurrence of three cases of breastfeeding supply, two made by HIV positive mothers and cross-feeding under unknown HIV status. The ability to prepare and administer the milk powder and to prepare and administer complementary feeding evidences the vulnerability of this population. Health professionals should ensure timely and adequate guidance to the family’s understanding of the risk of vertical transmission. In order to ensure compliance with prophylaxis and safe and adequate feeding for non-breastfed infants, providing them with knowledge and skills in the daily care at home. Consequently, minimising their vulnerabilities, since parents are co-responsible for the health of their children. The family needs health education actions in an ongoing way to develop the daily care of the child.
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