An increasing number of HIV-infected women become pregnant while receiving efavirenz (EFV). We compared the pregnancy outcomes of women exposed to EFV and to nevirapine (NVP) during the first trimester.
A retrospective study in four HIV care centers participating to clinical trials and international cohort collaboration. All HIV-infected pregnant women who conceived on EFV or NVP-based antiretroviral therapy (ART) between 2003 and 2009 were included. Pregnancy outcomes were: abortion (voluntary termination), miscarriage (unwanted termination <20 weeks of amenorrhea [WA]), stillborn (death ≥20 WA), preterm delivery [PTD] (live-birth <37 WA) and low birth weight [LBW] (<2,500 grams).
Overall, 344 HIV-infected pregnant women conceived on ART (213 on EFV and 131 on NVP). Median age was 29 years and median CD4 count 217 cells/μl at ART initiation. The overall proportion was 11.7% for abortion, 5.2% for miscarriage, 6.7% for stillborn, 10.8% for PTD and 20.2% for LBW. There was no difference between EFV and NVP exposure, except for abortion (14.3% vs 7.3%; p=0.05). No external and visible congenital malformation was observed neither in women exposed to EFV nor in women exposed to NVP.
Among women exposed to EFV, no significant increased risk of unfavorable pregnancy outcome was reported except for abortion.
Efavirenz; HIV infection; congenital abnormalities; pregnancy outcomes; Africa
HIV-infected women, particularly those with advanced disease, may have higher rates of pregnancy loss (miscarriage and stillbirth) and neonatal mortality than uninfected women. Here we examine risk factors for these adverse pregnancy outcomes in a cohort of HIV-infected women in Zambia considering the impact of infant HIV status.
A total of 1229 HIV-infected pregnant women were enrolled (2001–2004) in Lusaka, Zambia and followed to pregnancy outcome. Live-born infants were tested for HIV by PCR at birth, 1 week and 5 weeks. Obstetric and neonatal data were collected after delivery and the rates of neonatal (<28 days) and early mortality (<70 days) were described using Kaplan-Meier methods.
The ratio of miscarriage and stillbirth per 100 live-births were 3.1 and 2.6, respectively. Higher maternal plasma viral load (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] for each log10 increase in HIV RNA copies/ml = 1.90; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.10–3.27) and being symptomatic were associated with an increased risk of stillbirth (AOR = 3.19; 95% CI 1.46–6.97), and decreasing maternal CD4 count by 100 cells/mm3 with an increased risk of miscarriage (OR = 1.25; 95% CI 1.02–1.54). The neonatal mortality rate was 4.3 per 100 increasing to 6.3 by 70 days. Intrauterine HIV infection was not associated with neonatal morality but became associated with mortality through 70 days (adjusted hazard ratio = 2.76; 95% CI 1.25–6.08). Low birth weight and cessation of breastfeeding were significant risk factors for both neonatal and early mortality independent of infant HIV infection.
More advanced maternal HIV disease was associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. Excess neonatal mortality in HIV-infected women was not primarily explained by infant HIV infection but was strongly associated with low birth weight and prematurity. Intrauterine HIV infection contributed to mortality as early as 70 days of infant age. Interventions to improve pregnancy outcomes for HIV-infected women are needed to complement necessary therapeutic and prophylactic antiretroviral interventions.
Perinatal mortality; Infant mortality; Risk factors; Adverse pregnancy outcome; HIV infection; Vertical transmission
To describe predictors of pregnancy and changes in pregnancy incidence among HIV-positive women accessing HIV clinical care.
Data were obtained through the linkage of two separate studies; the UK Collaborative HIV Cohort study (UK CHIC), a cohort of adults attending 13 large HIV clinics, and the National Study of HIV in Pregnancy and Childhood (NSHPC), a national surveillance study of HIV-positive pregnant women. Pregnancy incidence was measured using the proportion of women in UK CHIC with a pregnancy reported to NSHPC. Generalised estimating equations were used to identify predictors of pregnancy and assess changes in pregnancy incidence in 2000-2009.
The number of women accessing care at UK CHIC sites increased as did the number of pregnancies (from 72 to 230). Older women were less likely to have a pregnancy (adjusted Relative Rate (aRR) 0.44 per 10 year increment in age [95% CI [0.41-0.46], p<0.001) as were women with CD4<200 cells/mm3 compared with CD4 200-350 cells/mm3 (aRR 0.65 [0.55-0.77] p<0.001) and women of white ethnicity compared with women of black-African ethnicity (aRR 0.67 [0.57-0.80], p<0.001). The likelihood that women had a pregnancy increased over the study period (aRR 1.05 [1.03-1.07], p<0.001). The rate of change did not significantly differ according to age group, ART use, CD4 group or ethnicity.
The pregnancy rate among women accessing HIV clinical care increased in 2000-2009. HIV-positive women with, or planning, a pregnancy require a high level of care and this is likely to continue and increase as more women of older age have pregnancies.
HIV; pregnancy; pregnancy rate; maternal age; highly active antiretroviral therapy; maternal-fetal infection transmission; United Kingdom
Nearly 80% of women currently infected with HIV are of childbearing age. As women of childbearing age continue to be at risk of contracting HIV, there will be an increased need for choices about whether or not to have biological children. The purpose of this exploratory study was to investigate the influence of partners, physicians, and family members on pregnancy decisions, as well as the impact of HIV stigma on these decisions. Results indicated that most women chose not to become pregnant since learning their HIV diagnosis and the woman’s age at the time of diagnosis is significantly associated with this decision. Additional factors included fear of transmitting HIV to their child, personal health-related concerns, and desire to have children. Women with a procreative inclination were more likely to choose to become pregnant which outweighed social support and personal health concerns. Implications and suggestions for future research are noted.
HIV positive; Pregnancy decisions; Stigma; Women
OBJECTIVE: To describe factors related to reproductive decision-making among HIV-infected women. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A sample of HIV-infected women (N=104) who received care at an HIV clinic in the southern United States were interviewed about their reproductive decision-making. Women who became pregnant subsequent to HIV diagnosis were compared to women who did not become pregnant, and women who underwent a sterilization procedure subsequent to HIV diagnosis were compared to women who did not get sterilized. RESULTS: Compared to women who did not get pregnant after receiving an HIV diagnosis, women who became pregnant were more likely to be young, single, diagnosed earlier in the epidemic and to have more recently used a noninjecting drug. Among women who did not get pregnant, 63% reported their diagnosis greatly affected that decision. Having a partner who wants more children was not associated with pregnancy. Compared to women who did not get sterilized after learning their HIV status, women who did get sterilized tended to be Baptist and already had a prior live birth. Neither a woman's desire nor her partner's desire for more children was associated with sterilization. CONCLUSIONS: HIV is an important influence on HIV-infected women's reproductive choices, regardless of the decision being made. Reproductive counseling by HIV care providers needs to be sensitive to all the issues faced by these women.
While foreign-born persons constitute only 11% of the population in the state of Rhode Island, they account for more than 65% of incident tuberculosis (TB) annually. We investigated the molecular-epidemiological differences between foreign-born and U.S.-born TB patients to estimate the degree of recent transmission and identify predictors of clustering. A total of 288 isolates collected from culture-confirmed TB cases in Rhode Island between 1995 and 2004 were fingerprinted by spoligotyping and 12-locus mycobacterial interspersed repetitive units. Of the 288 fingerprinted isolates, 109 (37.8%) belonged to 36 genetic clusters. Our findings demonstrate that U.S.-born patients, Hispanics, Asian/Pacific islanders, and uninsured patients were significantly more likely to be clustered. Recent transmission among the foreign-born population was restricted and occurred mostly locally, within populations originating from the same region. Nevertheless, TB transmission between the foreign-born and U.S.-born population should not be neglected, since 80% of the mixed clusters of foreign- and U.S.-born persons arose from a foreign-born source case. We conclude that timely access to routine screening and treatment for latent TB infection for immigrants is vital for disease elimination in Rhode Island.
OBJECTIVE--To determine the prevalence of HIV among pregnant women, in particular those whose behaviour or that of their partners put them at "low risk" of infection. DESIGN--Voluntary named or anonymous HIV testing of pregnant women during 21 months (November 1988 to July 1990). SUBJECTS AND SETTING--All women who planned to continue their pregnancy and attended clinics serving the antenatal populations of Edinburgh and Dundee. All women admitted for termination of pregnancy to gynaecology wards serving the pregnant populations of Dundee and outlying rural areas. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Period prevalence of HIV antibody positivity. RESULTS--91% of antenatal clinic attenders and 97% of women having termination of pregnancy agreed to HIV testing on a named or anonymous basis. HIV period prevalences for antenatal clinic attenders and women having termination of pregnancy tested in Dundee were 0.13% and 0.85% respectively, and for antenatal clinic attenders tested in Edinburgh 0.26%. For those at "low risk" rates for antenatal clinic attenders and women having termination of pregnancy in Dundee were 0.11% and 0.13%, and for antenatal clinic attenders in Edinburgh 0.02%. In Dundee HIV prevalence among women having a termination of pregnancy (0.85%) was significantly greater than that among antenatal clinic attenders (0.13%). CONCLUSIONS--HIV infection is undoubtedly occurring among women at "low risk," and it is clear that a policy of selective testing of those at only "high risk" is inadequate for pregnant women living in areas of high prevalence such as Edinburgh and Dundee. Moreover, when studying pregnant populations in such areas there is the need to include those having a termination of pregnancy.
Objective To determine the optimum interpregnancy interval after miscarriage in a first recorded pregnancy.
Design Population based retrospective cohort study.
Setting Scottish hospitals between 1981 and 2000.
Participants 30 937 women who had a miscarriage in their first recorded pregnancy and subsequently became pregnant.
Main outcome measures The primary end point was miscarriage, live birth, termination, stillbirth, or ectopic pregnancy in the second pregnancy. Secondary outcomes were rates of caesarean section and preterm delivery, low birthweight infants, pre-eclampsia, placenta praevia, placental abruption, and induced labour in the second pregnancy.
Results Compared with women with an interpregnancy interval of 6-12 months, those who conceived again within six months were less likely to have another miscarriage (adjusted odds ratio 0.66, 95% confidence interval 0.57 to 0.77), termination (0.43, 0.33 to 0.57), or ectopic pregnancy (0.48, 0.34 to 0.69). Women with an interpregnancy interval of more than 24 months were more likely to have an ectopic second pregnancy (1.97, 1.42 to 2.72) or termination (2.40, 1.91 to 3.01). Compared with women with an interpregnancy interval of 6-12 months, women who conceived again within six months and went on to have a live birth in the second pregnancy were less likely to have a caesarean section (0.90, 0.83 to 0.98), preterm delivery (0.89, 0.81 to 0.98), or infant of low birth weight (0.84, 0.71 to 0.89) but were more likely to have an induced labour (1.08, 1.02 to 1.23).
Conclusions Women who conceive within six months of an initial miscarriage have the best reproductive outcomes and lowest complication rates in a subsequent pregnancy.
Seventy percent of women in Scotland have at least one baby, making pregnancy an opportunity to help most young women quit smoking before their own health is irreparably compromised. By quitting during pregnancy their infants will be protected from miscarriage and still birth as well as low birth weight, asthma, attention deficit disorder and adult cardiovascular disease. In the UK, the NICE guidelines: ‘How to stop smoking in pregnancy and following childbirth’ (June 2010) highlighted that little evidence exists in the literature to confirm the efficacy of financial incentives to help pregnant smokers to quit. Its first research recommendation was to determine: Within a UK context, are incentives an acceptable, effective and cost-effective way to help pregnant women who smoke to quit?
Design and methods
This study is a phase II exploratory individually randomized controlled trial comparing standard care for pregnant smokers with standard care plus the additional offer of financial voucher incentives to engage with specialist cessation services and/or to quit smoking during pregnancy.
Participants (n = 600) will be pregnant smokers identified at maternity booking who, when contacted by specialist cessation services, agree to having their details passed to the NHS Smokefree Pregnancy Study Helpline to discuss the trial. The NHS Smokefree Pregnancy Study Helpline will be responsible for telephone consent and follow-up in late pregnancy. The primary outcome will be self reported smoking in late pregnancy verified by cotinine measurement. An economic evaluation will refine cost data collection and assess potential cost-effectiveness while qualitative research interviews with clients and health professionals will assess the level of acceptance of this form of incentive payment. The research questions are: What is the likely therapeutic efficacy? Are incentives potentially cost-effective? Is individual randomization an efficient trial design without introducing outcome bias? Can incentives be introduced in a way that is feasible and acceptable?
This phase II trial will establish a workable design to reduce the risks associated with a future definitive phase III multicenter randomized controlled trial and establish a framework to assess the costs and benefits of financial incentives to help pregnant smokers to quit.
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN87508788
Intervention; Maternal and child health; Outcomes; Pregnancy; Prevention; Smoking
The UK has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in Western Europe. A
retrospective record-based study was conducted in an East Devon general
practice to gain greater understanding of the outcome of first teenage
pregnancy and subsequent reproductive history. The comparison group was women
who had first conceived between the ages of 25 and 29 years.
149/673 women born between 1968 and 1977 became pregnant when teenagers. Of
these, 70 (47%) had the baby, 67 (45%) had a termination and 10 (7%) had a
spontaneous miscarriage; 2 others experienced fetal loss. Of the women aged
25-29 at first conception, 127 (92%) had the baby, 6 (4%) had a termination
and 5 (4%) had a miscarriage. 40 (27%) of the teenage group went on to have a
second teenage pregnancy, including 12 of the 67 who had their first pregnancy
Although teenage pregnancy is often viewed as unplanned and unwanted, the
reality is more complex. Among this group, many first pregnancies were
desired. Even among those whose first pregnancy was terminated, 18% went on to
have a baby while still a teenager.
To explore the pattern of repeat pregnancies among diagnosed HIV-infected women in the UK and Ireland, estimate the rate of these sequential pregnancies, and investigate the demographic and clinical characteristics of women experiencing them.
Diagnosed HIV-infected pregnant women are reported through an active confidential reporting scheme to the National Study of HIV in Pregnancy and Childhood.
Pregnancies occurring during 1990-2009 were included. Multivariable analyses were conducted fitting Cox proportional hazards models.
There were 14,096 pregnancies in 10,568 women; 2737 (25.9%) had two or more pregnancies reported. The rate of repeat pregnancies was 6.7 (95% CI: 6.5-7.0) per 100 woman-years. The proportion of pregnancies in women who already had at least one pregnancy reported increased from 20.3% (32/158) in 1997 to 38.6% (565/1465) in 2009 (p<0.001).
In multivariable analysis the probability of repeat pregnancy significantly declined with increasing age at first pregnancy. Parity was also inversely associated with repeat pregnancy. Compared with women born in the UK or Ireland, those from Europe, Eastern Africa, and Southern Africa were less likely to have a repeat pregnancy, while women from Middle Africa and Western Africa were more likely to. Maternal health at first pregnancy was not associated with repeat pregnancy.
The number of diagnosed HIV-infected women in the UK and Ireland experiencing repeat pregnancies is increasing. Variations in the probability of repeat pregnancies, according to demographic and clinical characteristics, are an important consideration when planning reproductive health services and HIV care for people living with HIV.
HIV; Women; Pregnancy; Surveillance; Epidemiology; United Kingdom and Ireland
Investigations of reproductive health within Lationos living in the United States suggest that sexual behaviors and contraception use practices vary by ethnicity and between foreign- and US-born adolescents. This article compares high-risk sexual behaviors and reproductive health among foreign-born Latinas, US-born Latinas, and US-born non-Latinas aged 15–24 years. We recruited 361 females from reproductive health clinics in the San Francisco Bay Area of California between 1995 and 1998; these women completed an interview that assessed sexual risk behaviors and history of pregnancy, abortion, and sexually transmitted infections. Current chlamydial and gonococcal infections were detected through biological testing. Among participants aged 15–18 years, US-born Latinas were more likely to have been pregnant (odds ratio [OR] comparing US-born Latinas and US-born non-Latinas=3.9, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.3, 11.4), whereas among respondents aged 19–24 years, foreign-born Latinas were more likely to have been pregnant than US-born Latinas (OR=11.3, 95% CI 1.0, 130.8) and US-born non-Latinas (OR=64.2, 95%CI 9.9, 416.3). US-born Latinas were most likely to have had an abortion (OR comparing US-born Latinas and US-born non-Latinas=2.0, 95% CI 0.9, 4.7). They were also most likely to have chlamydial infection at study enrollment (8.2% prevalence compared to 2.2% and 1.0% for foreign-born Latinas and US-born non-Latinas, respectively; P=0.009). Reproductive health differences between foreign and US-born females and within the US-born population warrant further examination and highlight the need for targeted prevention.
Abortion; Adolescence; Hispanic Americans; Immigrants; Pregnancy; Sex behavior; Sexually transmitted diseases
Physicians encounter complex and sensitive ethical challenges in the medical care of pregnant women with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. This paper identifies those ethical challenges and provides concrete clinical guidance for how they should be addressed in obstetric care. The paper begins with a brief historical review, to highlight and to call into question the civil rights model of the ethics of HIV infection that has dominated the literature, clinical practice, and public policy. The authors propose an alternative ethical framework. This framework begins by underscoring the public health obligations of both physicians and pregnant women with HIV infection. The framework is based on a clinical ethics that appeals to both beneficence-based and
autonomy-based obligations of the physician to the pregnant woman and the beneficence-based
obligations of both the physician and the pregnant woman to the fetal patient. This framework is
then deployed in a clinical ethical analysis of termination of pregnancy and contraception, partner
notification, disclosure and confidentiality of her serostatus by the patient to the health care team,
disclosure and confidentiality of her serostatus to other health care professionals, prevention of
vertical transmission, and advance directives.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:
The rate of mother-to-child transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 has been reported to be high in Saudi Arabia. We report the rate of such transmission among a cohort of HIV-infected women enrolled in an HIV program at a tertiary care facility in Riyadh.
All HIV-infected women who became pregnant and delivered during their follow-up between January 1994 and June 2006 were included in this study. HIV viral load and CD4+ T-lymphocyte count near-term, the mode of delivery, and the HIV status of the newborn at 18 months were recorded. All women were counseled and managed according to the three-step PACTG 076 protocol.
Of 68 HIV-infected women in the cohort, 31 had 40 pregnancies; one aborted at 13 weeks gestation. The mode of delivery was elective cesarean delivery in 28 pregnancies (70%) at 36 weeks gestation, and 11 (27.5%) had normal spontaneous vaginal delivery. The median CD4+ T-lymphocyte count near-term was 536 cells per cubic millimeter and the median viral load for 25 pregnancies was 1646 copies/mL, with only nine pregnancies (22.5%) having viral loads of more than 1000 copies/mL. Fourteen pregnancies (35%) had undetectable HIV prior to delivery. All patients were taking antiretroviral therapy during pregnancy and delivery. All 39 newborns tested negative for HIV infection at the age of 18 months; none of the newborns was breastfed.
Contrary to previous local experience, diagnosis, management, and antiretroviral therapy almost eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV-1 in our patient population.
Since 1991, the French public health ministry has recommended that human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing be offered to all pregnant women. This study was undertaken to determine whether this recommendation is followed independently of a woman's ethnicity. It is based on a 1992 survey regarding knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and practices on HIV infection and testing among pregnant women in southeastern France. Survey results revealed that North-African women (n = 207) were more likely to have a low socioeconomic and educational level, receive their health care at public health institutions, and be less knowledgeable about HIV transmission than French women (n = 2234). They were also more likely to have been tested for HIV without their knowing it and less likely to perceive themselves as being at risk. Consent to undergo HIV testing during pregnancy was dependent on their North-African origin after controlling for significant covariates. These results indicate that routine prenatal screening appears insufficient to ensure adequate HIV testing and counseling of women of ethnic minorities. The development of HIV prevention programs that are cultural-specific and that aim at increasing physicians' compliance with the official recommendation is needed.
Although women of reproductive age are the largest group of HIV-infected individuals in sub-Saharan Africa, little is known about the impact of pregnancy on response to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in that setting. We examined the effect of incident pregnancy after HAART initiation on virologic response to HAART.
Methods and Findings
We evaluated a prospective clinical cohort of adult women who initiated HAART in Johannesburg, South Africa between 1 April 2004 and 30 September 2009, and followed up until an event, death, transfer, drop-out, or administrative end of follow-up on 31 March 2010. Women over age 45 and women who were pregnant at HAART initiation were excluded from the study; final sample size for analysis was 5,494 women. Main exposure was incident pregnancy, experienced by 541 women; main outcome was virologic failure, defined as a failure to suppress virus to ≤400 copies/ml by six months or virologic rebound >400 copies/ml thereafter. We calculated adjusted hazard ratios using marginal structural Cox proportional hazards models and weighted lifetable analysis to calculate adjusted five-year risk differences. The weighted hazard ratio for the effect of pregnancy on time to virologic failure was 1.34 (95% confidence limit [CL] 1.02, 1.78). Sensitivity analyses generally confirmed these main results.
Incident pregnancy after HAART initiation was associated with modest increases in both relative and absolute risks of virologic failure, although uncontrolled confounding cannot be ruled out. Nonetheless, these results reinforce that family planning is an essential part of care for HIV-positive women in sub-Saharan Africa. More work is needed to confirm these findings and to explore specific etiologic pathways by which such effects may operate.
Disclosure of HIV status has become an entry criterion for prevention of mother to child transmission programs in resource-constrained countries. However, little has been explored about the prevalence of, barriers to, outcomes and factors associated with HIV status disclosure among HIV positive pregnant women in Ethiopia.
Cross- sectional study was conducted among 107 pregnant women who were attending antenatal care in public centers from April to June 2011 in Addis Ababa capital city of Ethiopia.
Data was collected using interviewer administered pretested structured questionnaire and entered and was analyzed using SPSS- 15 version. Results presented in tables.
Seventy three percent of women had disclosed their HIV status to their partner. Discussion about testing and a smooth relationship with the partner were independently associated with their disclosure. Women who disclosed to their partners were almost five times more likely to participate in Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission programs than their counterparts (AOR = 4.74; 95% CI 1.24-18.14).
Although most participants disclosed their HIV sero-positive status, lack of disclosure by some women might result in a limited ability to participate in PMTCT programs. Thus, assertiveness and improved communication skills training should be offered to HIV positive pregnant mothers and be reinforced during on-going counseling.
HIV status disclosure; PMTCT; Sexual partner
We aimed to evaluate socio-demographic factors associated with HIV and syphilis seroreactivity in pregnant Malawians presenting for antenatal care in late third trimester of pregnancy.
Between December 2000 and March 2004 at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital Blantyre, Malawi, we collected cross-sectional clinical and socioeconomic data from consenting women. HIV-1 status was determined using rapid HIV antibody tests and syphilis seroreactivity was determined using Rapid Plasma Reagin (RPR) and confirmed with Treponema pallidum hemagglutination assay (TPHA).
Of 3,824 women screened for HIV, 1156 (30%) were HIV seropositive and 198 (5%) were RPR and TPHA seroreactive. In the multivariate analysis, HIV infection was positively associated with elevated socio-economic status, being formerly married, and age, but not with education level. HIV prevalence was lower in women of Yao ethnicity than in other women (OR: 0.78, 95%CI: 0.64 – 0.95). Increased maternal education was negatively associated with syphilis seroreactivity.
The seroprevalence of HIV and syphilis among women attending the antenatal ward in Blantyre remains unacceptably high. Demographic correlates of HIV and syphilis infections were different. Our results demonstrate the need for better strategies to prevent HIV and syphilis in women and calls for optimizing antenatal syphilis screening and treatment in Malawi.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus; Syphilis; Antenatal; Malawi; Pregnancy; Demographics; HIV-1; Socio-demographics
The global plan of reducing the number of new child HIV infections and a reduction in the number of HIV-related maternal deaths by 2015 will require inordinate political commitment and strengthening of health systems in Sub-Saharan Africa where the burden of HIV infections in pregnant women is the highest. Preventing HIV infection in women of child-bearing age and unwanted pregnancies in HIV-positive women forms the cornerstone of long-term control of paediatric HIV infections. To achieve the goal of eliminating paediatric HIV infection by 2015, health systems strengthening to address prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission cascade attrition and focusing on the elimination of breastmilk transmission is critical. Understanding the pathogenesis of breastmilk transmission and the mechanisms by which antiretroviral therapy impacts on transmission through this compartment will drive future interventions. Identifying and retaining HIV-positive pregnant women in care and committed to long-term antiretroviral therapy will improve maternal outcomes and concomitant reductions in maternal mortality. Research assessing the natural history of HIV infection and long-term outcomes in women who interrupt antiretroviral therapy post-weaning is urgently required. Data on the outcome of women who opt to continue the long-term use of antiretroviral therapy after initiating therapy during pregnancy will determine future policy in countries considering option B+. The prevalence of antiretroviral resistance and impact on survival in infants who sero-convert whilst receiving neonatal prophylaxis, or are exposed to maternal HAART through breastmilk at a population level, are currently unknown. In addition to the provision of biomedical interventions, healthcare workers and policy makers must address the structural, cultural and community issues that impact on treatment uptake, adherence to medication and retention in care.
BACKGROUND: Listeriosis is a food-borne disease often associated with ready-to-eat foods. It usually causes mild febrile gastrointestinal illness in immunocompetent persons. In pregnant women, it may cause more severe infection and often crosses the placenta to infect the fetus, resulting in miscarriage, fetal death or neonatal morbidity. Simple precautions during pregnancy can prevent listeriosis. However, many women are unaware of these precautions and listeriosis education is often omitted from prenatal care. METHODS: Volunteer pregnant women were recruited to complete a questionnaire to assess their knowledge of listeriosis and its prevention, in two separate studies. One study was a national survey of 403 women from throughout the USA, and the other survey was limited to 286 Minnesota residents. RESULTS: In the multi-state survey, 74 of 403 respondents (18%) had some knowledge of listeriosis, compared with 43 of 286 (15%) respondents to the Minnesota survey. The majority of respondents reported hearing about listeriosis from a medical professional. In the multi-state survey, 33% of respondents knew listeriosis could be prevented by not eating delicatessen meats, compared with 17% in the Minnesota survey (p=0.01). Similarly, 31% of respondents to the multi-state survey compared with 19% of Minnesota survey respondents knew listeriosis could be prevented by avoiding unpasteurized dairy products (p=0.05). As for preventive behaviors, 18% of US and 23% of Minnesota respondents reported avoiding delicatessen meats and ready-to-eat foods during pregnancy, whereas 86% and 88%, respectively, avoided unpasteurized dairy products. CONCLUSIONS: Most pregnant women have limited knowledge of listeriosis prevention. Even though most respondents avoided eating unpasteurized dairy products, they were unaware of the risk associated with ready-to-eat foods. Improved education of pregnant women regarding the risk and sources of listeriosis in pregnancy is needed.
Background. There is a paucity of research in Australia on the characteristics of women in treatment for illicit substance use in pregnancy and the health outcomes of their neonates. Aims. To determine the clinical features and outcomes of high-risk, marginalized women seeking treatment for illicit substance use in pregnancy and their neonates.
Methods. 139 women with a history of substance abuse/dependence engaged with a perinatal drug health service in Sydney, Australia. Maternal (demographic, drug use, psychological, physical, obstetric, and antenatal care) and neonatal characteristics (delivery, early health outcomes) were examined. Results. Compared to national figures, pregnant women attending a specialist perinatal and family drug health service were more likely to report being Australian born, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, younger, unemployed, and multiparous. Opiates were the primary drug of concern (81.3%). Pregnancy complications were common (61.9%). Neonates were more likely to be preterm, have low birth weight, and be admitted to special care nursery. NAS was the most prevalent birth complication (69.8%) and almost half required pharmacotherapy. Conclusion. Mother-infant dyads affected by substance use in pregnancy are at significant risk. There is a need to review clinical models of care and examine the longer-term impacts on infant development.
In HIV-infected pregnant women, viral suppression prevents mother-to-child HIV transmission. Directly observed highly-active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) enhances virological suppression, and could prevent transmission. Our objective was to project the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of directly observed administration of antiretroviral drugs in pregnancy.
Methods and Findings
A mathematical model was created to simulate cohorts of one million asymptomatic HIV-infected pregnant women on HAART, with women randomly assigned self-administered or directly observed antiretroviral therapy (DOT), or no HAART, in a series of Monte Carlo simulations. Our primary outcome was the quality-adjusted life expectancy in years (QALY) of infants born to HIV-infected women, with the rates of Caesarean section and HIV-transmission after DOT use as intermediate outcomes. Both self-administered HAART and DOT were associated with decreased costs and increased life-expectancy relative to no HAART. The use of DOT was associated with a relative risk of HIV transmission of 0.39 relative to conventional HAART; was highly cost-effective in the cohort as a whole (cost-utility ratio $14,233 per QALY); and was cost-saving in women whose viral loads on self-administered HAART would have exceeded 1000 copies/ml. Results were stable in wide-ranging sensitivity analyses, with directly observed therapy cost-saving or highly cost-effective in almost all cases.
Based on the best available data, programs that optimize adherence to HAART through direct observation in pregnancy have the potential to diminish mother-to-child HIV transmission in a highly cost-effective manner. Targeted use of DOT in pregnant women with high viral loads, who could otherwise receive self-administered HAART would be a cost-saving intervention. These projections should be tested with randomized clinical trials.
To compare clinical status, mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) rates, use of prevention of (PMTCT) interventions and pregnancy outcomes between HIV-infected injecting drug users (IDUs) and non-IDUs.
Design and setting
Prospective cohort study conducted in seven human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) Centres in Ukraine, 2000–10.
Pregnant HIV-infected women, identified before/during pregnancy or intrapartum, and their live-born infants (n = 6200); 1028 women followed post-partum.
Maternal and delivery characteristics, PMTCT prophylaxis, MTCT rates, preterm delivery (PTD) and low birth weight (LBW).
Of 6200 women, 1111 (18%) reported current/previous IDU. The proportion of IDUs diagnosed with HIV before conception increased from 31% in 2000/01 to 60% in 2008/09 (P < 0.01). Among women with undiagnosed HIV at conception, 20% of IDUs were diagnosed intrapartum versus 4% of non-IDUs (P < 0.01). At enrolment, 14% of IDUs had severe/advanced HIV symptoms versus 6% of non-IDUs (P < 0.001). IDUs had higher rates of PTD and LBW infants than non-IDUs, respectively, 16% versus 7% and 22% versus 10% (P < 0.001). IDUs were more likely to receive no neonatal or intrapartum PMTCT prophylaxis compared with non-IDUs (OR 2.81, p < 0.001). MTCT rates were 10.8% in IDUs versus 5.9% in non-IDUs; IDUs had increased MTCT risk (adjusted odds ratio 1.32, P = 0.049). Fewer IDUs with treatment indications received HAART compared with non-IDUs (58% versus 68%, P = 0.03).
Pregnant human immunodeficiency virus-infected injecting drug users in Ukraine have worse clinical status, poorer access to prevention of mother-to-child transmission prophylaxis and highly active antiretroviral therapy, more adverse pregnancy outcomes and higher risk of mother-to-child transmission than non-injecting drug user women.
HIV; injecting drugs; mother-to-child; pregnancy; pregnancy outcomes; prevention; transmission
Increased male participation in antenatal care and uptake of couple voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) for HIV could reduce horizontal and vertical HIV transmission in sub-Saharan Africa.
Randomized controlled trial to compare pregnant women’s acceptance of written invitations for VCT and pregnancy information sessions (PISs) – the control group – for their male sexual partners (MSPs) and uptake of VCT among these pregnancy partners in Khayelitsha, South Africa.
All women in the study accepted the invitation letters and agreed to invite their pregnancy partners to attend for VCT or PIS as requested. Thirty-five percent (175 of 500) pregnant women given VCT invitations for their partners brought their MSPs for antenatal clinic visit compared with 26% (129 of 500) given PIS invitations [relative risk (RR) 1.36, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.12–1.64, P = 0.002]. Thirty-two percent (161 of 500) MSPs in the VCT arm underwent HIV testing compared with 11% (57/500) in the PIS arm (RR 2.82, 95% CI 2.14–3.72, P < 0.001). The proportions of women and men reporting unprotected sex during the pregnancy were lower in the MSP VCT arm than in the MSP PIS arm – 25 versus 81% (RR 0.30, 95% CI 0.22–0.42, P < 0.001) and 26 versus 76% (RR 0.34, 95% CI 0.25–0.47, P < 0.001), respectively. No differences were seen in intimate partner violence.
Providing pregnant women with a written invitation for their partners increased male participation in antenatal care and uptake of couple VCT in a township in Cape Town, South Africa where community sensitization was conducted and antiretroviral therapy was available.
couple voluntary counselling and testing; male partner involvement; mother-to-child transmission; parent-to-child transmission of HIV
We sought to determine whether an HIV prevention program bundled with group prenatal care reduced sexually transmitted infection (STI) incidence, repeat pregnancy, sexual risk behavior, and psychosocial risks.
We conducted a randomized controlled trial at 2 prenatal clinics. We assigned pregnant women aged 14 to 25 years (N=1047) to individual care, attention-matched group care, and group care with an integrated HIV component. We conducted structured interviews at baseline (second trimester), third trimester, and 6 and 12 months postpartum.
Mean age of participants was 20.4 years; 80% were African American. According to intent-to-treat analyses, women assigned to the HIV-prevention group intervention were significantly less likely to have repeat pregnancy at 6 months postpartum than individual-care and attention-matched controls; they demonstrated increased condom use and decreased unprotected sexual intercourse compared with individual-care and attention-matched controls. Sub-analyses showed that being in the HIV-prevention group reduced STI incidence among the subgroup of adolescents.
HIV prevention integrated with prenatal care resulted in reduced biological, behavioral, and psychosocial risks for HIV.