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1.  Safer Conception Needs for HIV Prevention among Female Sex Workers in Burkina Faso and Togo 
Background. Reproductive health programming for female sex workers (FSW) may include contraceptive services but rarely addresses safer pregnancy planning. Methods. Adult FSW were enrolled into a cross-sectional study across four sites in Burkina Faso and Togo using respondent-driven sampling. Sociobehavioral questionnaires and HIV counseling and testing were administered. Sample statistics and engagement in HIV treatment were described and compared using Chi-squared statistics. Results. 1,349 reproductive-aged FSW were enrolled from January to July 2013. Overall, 267 FSW (19.8%) were currently trying to conceive. FSW trying to conceive were more likely to test positive for HIV at enrollment as compared to women not trying to become pregnant (24.5% versus 17.7%, P < 0.01); however awareness of HIV status was similar across groups. Among FSW trying to conceive, 79.0% (211/267) had previously received HIV testing, yet only 33.8% (23/68) of HIV-infected FSW reported a previous HIV diagnosis. Overall 25.0% (17/68) of HIV-infected FSW trying to conceive were on antiretroviral therapy. Conclusion. FSW frequently desire children. However engagement in the HIV prevention and treatment cascade among FSW trying to conceive is poor potentiating periconception transmission risks to partners and infants. Programs to facilitate earlier HIV diagnosis for FSW and safer conception counseling are needed as components of effective combination HIV prevention services.
doi:10.1155/2014/296245
PMCID: PMC4227409  PMID: 25404849
2.  Representation of Women and Pregnant Women in HIV Research: A Limited Systematic Review 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e73398.
Background
HIV-related outcomes may be affected by biological sex and by pregnancy. Including women in general and pregnant women in particular in HIV-related research is important for generalizability of findings.
Objective
To characterize representation of pregnant and non-pregnant women in HIV-related research conducted in general populations.
Data Sources
All HIV-related articles published in fifteen journals from January to March of 2011. We selected the top five journals by 2010 impact factor, in internal medicine, infectious diseases, and HIV/AIDS.
Study Eligibility Criteria
HIV-related studies reporting original research on questions applicable to both men and women of reproductive age were considered; studies were excluded if they did not include individual-level patient data.
Study appraisal and synthesis methods.
Articles were doubly reviewed and abstracted; discrepancies were resolved through consensus. We recorded proportion of female study participants, whether pregnant women were included or excluded, and other key factors.
Results
In total, 2014 articles were published during this period. After screening, 259 articles were included as original HIV-related research reporting individual-level data; of these, 226 were determined to be articles relevant to both men and women of reproductive age. In these articles, women were adequately represented within geographic region. The vast majority of published articles, 183/226 (81%), did not mention pregnancy (or related issues); still fewer included pregnant women (n=33), reported numbers of pregnant women (n=19), or analyzed using pregnancy status (n=9).
Limitations
Data were missing for some key variables, including pregnancy. The time period over which published works were evaluated was relatively short.
Conclusions and implications of key findings.
The under-reporting and inattention to pregnancy in the HIV literature may reduce policy-makers’ ability to set evidence-based policy around HIV/AIDS care for pregnant women and women of child-bearing age.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0073398
PMCID: PMC3751870  PMID: 24009750
3.  Efavirenz Conceptions and Regimen Management in a Prospective Cohort of Women on Antiretroviral Therapy 
Use of the antiretroviral drug efavirenz (EFV) is not recommended by the WHO or South African HIV treatment guidelines during the first trimester of pregnancy due to potential fetal teratogenicity; there is little evidence of how clinicians manage EFV-related fertility concerns. Women on antiretroviral therapy (ART) were enrolled into a prospective cohort in four public clinics in Johannesburg, South Africa. Fertility intentions, ART regimens, and pregnancy testing were routinely assessed during visits. Women reporting that they were trying to conceive while on EFV were referred for regimen changes. Kaplan-Meier estimators were used to assess incidence across ART regimens. From the 822 women with followup visits between August 2009–March 2011, 170 pregnancies were detected during study followup, including 56 EFV conceptions. Pregnancy incidence rates were comparable across EFV, nevirapine, and lopinavir/ritonavir person-years (95% 100/users (P = 0.25)); incidence rates on EFV were 18.6 Confidence Interval: 14.2–24.2). Treatment substitution from EFV was made for 57 women, due to pregnancy intentions or actual pregnancy; however, regimen changes were not systematically applied across women. High rates of pregnancy on EFV and inconsistencies in treatment management suggest that clearer guidelines are needed regarding how to manage fertility-related issues in. women on EFV-based regimens.
doi:10.1155/2012/723096
PMCID: PMC3384948  PMID: 22778534
4.  High Incidence of Unplanned Pregnancy after Antiretroviral Therapy Initiation: Findings from a Prospective Cohort Study in South Africa 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):e36039.
Background
Increased fertility rates in HIV-infected women receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) have been attributed to improved immunological function; it is unknown to what extent the rise in pregnancy rates is due to unintended pregnancies.
Methods
Non-pregnant women ages 18–35 from four public-sector ART clinics in Johannesburg, South Africa, were enrolled into a prospective cohort and followed from August 2009–March 2011. Fertility intentions, contraception and pregnancy status were measured longitudinally at participants' routine ART clinic visits.
Findings
Of the 850 women enrolled, 822 (97%) had at least one follow-up visit and contributed 745.2 person-years (PY) at-risk for incident pregnancy. Overall, 170 pregnancies were detected in 161 women (incidence rate [IR]: 21.6/100 PY [95% confidence interval (CI): 18.5–25.2]). Of the 170 pregnancies, 105 (62%) were unplanned. Unmet need for contraception was 50% higher in women initiating ART in the past year as compared to women on ART>1 year (prevalence ratio 1.5 [95% CI: 1.1–2.0]); by two years post-ART initiation, nearly one quarter of women had at least one unplanned pregnancy. Cumulative incidence of pregnancy was equally high among recent ART initiators and ART experienced participants: 23.9% [95% CI: 16.4–34.1], 15.9% [12.0–20.8], and 21.0% [16.8–26.1] for women on ART 0–1 yr, >1 yr–2 yrs, and >2 yrs respectively (log-rank, p = 0.54). Eight hormonal contraceptive failures were detected [IR: 4.4 [95% CI: 2.2–8.9], 7/8 among women using injectable methods. Overall 47% (80/170) of pregnancies were not carried to term.
Conclusions
Rates of unintended pregnancies among women on ART are high, including women recently initiating ART with lower CD4 counts and higher viral loads. A substantial burden of pregnancy loss was observed. Integration of contraceptive services and counselling into ART care is necessary to reduce maternal and child health risks related to mistimed and unwanted pregnancies. Further research into injectable contraceptive failures on ART is warranted.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0036039
PMCID: PMC3338622  PMID: 22558319
5.  Progression and Regression of Pre-malignant Cervical Lesions in HIV-infected Women from Soweto: A Prospective Cohort 
AIDS (London, England)  2011;25(1):87-94.
OBJECTIVE
To ascertain progression and regression of cervical dysplasia in HIV-infected women in Soweto.
DESIGN
Prospective cohort
METHODS
Women attending an HIV wellness clinic were offered cervical smears as part of care; smears were assessed using the Bethesda system. Those with high grade lesions or worse were referred for colposcopy. Progression analyses included women with at least two smears ≥5.5 months apart. Hazard ratios (HR) were used to ascertain predictors of progression.
RESULTS
2,325 women had a baseline smear; their median age and CD4 count was 32 yrs and 312 cells/μl respectively; 17% were taking highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART); 62%, 20% and 14% had normal, low grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LSIL) or high grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL), respectively. Of those with baseline normal or LSIL smears, 1,074 had another smear; progression from normal to LSIL was 9.6/100py (95% CI 8.3-11.1) and progression from normal or LSIL to HSIL was 4.6/100py (95% CI 3.9-5.5). Of 225 women with LSIL at baseline and ≥1 subsequent smear ≥11.5 months later, 44.0% regressed to normal (21.2/100py (95% CI 17.5-25.7)). Multivariate models suggested risk for progression in women with CD4 count <200; HAART reduced the risk of progression (aHR 0.72 [0.52-0.99]).
CONCLUSION
HIV-infected women have high rates of prevalent and incident HSIL and LSIL with relatively low risk of regression to normal from LSIL. HAART appears to protect against progression. Our findings suggest cervical screening intervals should be less than 10 years - irrespective of age in women with CD4 counts under 500 cells/mm3.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e328340fd99
PMCID: PMC3166782  PMID: 21076276
antiretroviral therapy; cohort; squamous intraepithelial lesion; CD4; cervical cancer; HPV

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