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1.  HIV status, breastfeeding modality at 5 months and postpartum maternal weight changes over 24 months in rural South Africa 
To determine the effect of infant feeding practices on postpartum weight change among HIV-infected and -uninfected women in South Africa.
In a non-randomised intervention cohort study of antiretroviral therapy-naïve women in South Africa, infants were classified as exclusive (EBF), mixed (MF) or non-breastfed (NBF) at each visit. We analysed infant feeding cumulatively from birth to 5 months using 24-hour feeding history (collected weekly for each of the preceding 7 days). Using generalised estimating equation mixed models, allowing for repeated measures, we compared postpartum weight change (kg) from the first maternal postpartum weight within the first 6 weeks (baseline weight) to each subsequent visit through 24 months among 2340 HIV-infected and -uninfected women with live births and at least two postpartum weight measurements.
HIV-infected (−0.2 kg CI: −1.7 to 1.3 kg; P = 0.81) and -uninfected women (−0.5 kg; 95% CI: −2.1 to 1.2 kg; P = 0.58) had marginal non-significant weight loss from baseline to 24 months postpartum. Adjusting for HIV status, socio-demographic, pregnancy-related and infant factors, 5-month feeding modality was not significantly associated with postpartum weight change: weight change by 24 months postpartum, compared to the change in the reference EBF group, was 0.03 kg in NBF (95% CI: −2.5 to +2.5 kg; P = 0.90) and 0.1 kg in MF (95% CI: −3.0 to +3.2 kg; P = 0.78).
HIV-infected and -uninfected women experienced similar weight loss over 24 months. Weight change postpartum was not associated with 5-month breastfeeding modality among HIV-infected and -uninfected women.
PMCID: PMC4251550  PMID: 24720779
HIV infection; body weight change; breastfeeding; postpartum
2.  A retrospective study of Human Immunodeficiency Virus transmission, mortality and loss to follow-up among infants in the first 18 months of life in a prevention of mother-to-child transmission programme in an urban hospital in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa 
BMC Pediatrics  2012;12:146.
Follow up of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)-exposed infants is an important component of Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) programmes in order to ascertain infant outcomes post delivery. We determined HIV transmission, mortality and loss to follow-up (LTFU) of HIV-exposed infants attending a postnatal clinic in an urban hospital in Durban, South Africa.
We conducted a retrospective cohort study of infants born to women in the PMTCT programme at McCord Hospital, where mothers paid a fee for service. Data were abstracted from patient records for live-born infants delivered between 1 May 2008 and 31 May 2009. The infants’ LTFU status and age was based on the date of the last visit. HIV transmission was calculated as a proportion of infants followed and tested at six weeks. Mortality rates were analyzed using Kaplan-Meier (K-M), with censoring on 15 January 2010, LTFU or death.
Of 260 infants, 155 (59.6%) remained in care at McCord beyond 28 weeks: one died at < 28 days, three died between one to six months; 34 were LTFU within seven days, 60 were LTFU by six months. K-M mortality rate: 1.7% at six months (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.6% to 4.3%). Of 220 (83%) infants tested for HIV at six weeks, six (2.7%, 95% CI: 1.1% to 5.8%) were HIV-infected. In Cox regression analysis, late antenatal attendance (≥ 28 weeks gestation) relative to attending in the first trimester was a predictor for infant LTFU (adjusted hazards ratio = 2.3; 95% CI: 1.0 to 5.1; p = 0.044).
This urban PMTCT programme achieved low transmission rates at six weeks, but LTFU in the first six months limited our ability to examine HIV transmission up to 18 months and determinants of mortality. The LTFU of infants born to women who attended antenatal care at 28 weeks gestation or later emphasizes the need to identify late antenatal attendees for follow up care to educate and support them regarding the importance of follow up care for themselves and their infants.
PMCID: PMC3468389  PMID: 22963527
HIV-exposed infants; LTFU; Prevention-of-Mother-to-Child Transmission; Postnatal clinic
3.  Preventing Unintended Pregnancy and HIV Transmission: Effects of the HIV Treatment Cascade on Contraceptive Use and Choice in Rural KwaZulu-Natal 
Supplemental Digital Content is Available in the Text.
For women living with HIV, contraception using condoms is recommended because it prevents not only unintended pregnancy but also acquisition of other sexually transmitted infections and onward transmission of HIV. Dual-method dual-protection contraception (condoms with other contraceptive methods) is preferable over single-method dual-protection contraception (condoms alone) because of its higher contraceptive effectiveness. We estimate the effect of progression through the HIV treatment cascade on contraceptive use and choice among HIV-infected women in rural South Africa.
We linked population-based surveillance data on contraception collected by the Wellcome Trust Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies to data from the local antiretroviral treatment (ART) program in Hlabisa subdistrict, KwaZulu-Natal. In bivariate probit regression, we estimated the effects of progressing through the cascade on contraceptive choice among HIV-infected sexually active women aged 15–49 years (N = 3169), controlling for a wide range of potential confounders.
Contraception use increased across the cascade from <40% among HIV-infected women who did not know their status to >70% among women who have been on ART for 4–7 years. Holding other factors equal (1) awareness of HIV status, (2) ART initiation, and (3) being on ART for 4–7 years increased the likelihood of single-method/dual-method dual protection by the following percentage points (pp), compared with women who were unaware of their HIV status: (1) 4.6 pp (P = 0.030)/3.5 pp (P = 0.001), (2) 10.3 pp (P = 0.003)/5.2 pp (P = 0.007), and (3) 21.6 pp (P < 0.001)/11.2 pp (P < 0.001).
Progression through the HIV treatment cascade significantly increased the likelihood of contraception in general and contraception with condoms in particular. ART programs are likely to contribute to HIV prevention through the behavioral pathway of changing contraception use and choice.
PMCID: PMC4251916  PMID: 25436821
unintended pregnancy; HIV; AIDS; reproductive health; contraception; condoms; HIV transmission

Results 1-3 (3)