A Prospective Study of the Effect of Pregnancy on CD4 Counts and Plasma HIV-1 RNA Concentrations of Antiretroviral-Naive HIV-1-Infected Women.
ABSTRACT In HIV-1-infected women, CD4 count declines occur during pregnancy, which has been attributed to hemodilution. However, for women who have not initiated antiretroviral therapy, it is unclear if CD4 declines are sustained beyond pregnancy and accompanied by increased viral levels, which could indicate an effect of pregnancy on accelerating HIV-1 disease progression.
In a prospective study among 2269 HIV-1-infected antiretroviral therapy-naive women from 7 African countries, we examined the effect of pregnancy on HIV-1 disease progression. We used linear mixed models to compare CD4 counts and plasma HIV-1 RNA concentrations between pregnant, postpartum, and nonpregnant periods.
Women contributed 3270 person-years of follow-up, during which time 476 women became pregnant. In adjusted analysis, CD4 counts were an average of 56 (95% confidence interval: 39 to 73) cells/mm lower during pregnant compared with nonpregnant periods and 70 (95% confidence interval: 53 to 88) cells/mm lower during pregnant compared with postpartum periods; these results were consistent when restricted to the subgroup of women who became pregnant. Plasma HIV-1 RNA concentrations were not different between pregnant and nonpregnant periods (P = 0.9) or pregnant and postpartum periods (P = 0.3). Neither CD4 counts nor plasma HIV-1 RNA levels were significantly different in postpartum compared with nonpregnant periods.
CD4 count declines among HIV-1-infected women during pregnancy are temporary and not sustained in postpartum periods. Pregnancy does not have a short-term impact on plasma HIV-1 RNA concentrations.
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ABSTRACT: Tailoring sexual and reproductive health services to meet the needs of people living with the human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV) is a growing concern but there are few insights into these issues where HIV is most prevalent. This cross-sectional study investigated the fertility intentions and associated health care needs of 459 women and men, not sampled as intimate partners of each other, living with HIV in Cape Town, South Africa. An almost equal proportion of women (55%) and men (43%) living with HIV, reported not intending to have children as were open to the possibility of having children (45 and 57%, respectively). Overall, greater intentions to have children were associated with being male, having fewer children, living in an informal settlement and use of antiretroviral therapy. There were important gender differences in the determinants of future childbearing intentions, with being on HAART strongly associated with women's fertility intentions. Gender differences were also apparent in participants' key reasons for wanting children. A minority of participants had discussed their reproductive intentions and related issues with HIV health care providers. There is an urgent need for intervention models to integrate HIV care with sexual and reproduction health counseling and services that account for the diverse reproductive needs of these populations.AIDS and Behavior 05/2009; 13 Suppl 1:38-46. · 3.49 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Few studies have examined the influence of pregnancy and hormonal contraception on HIV-related deaths in African women. Rwanda is a country with high fertility, high HIV prevalence, and frequent use of hormonal contraception in urban areas. Data from a prospective cohort study of 460 HIV-infected urban childbearing (18-35 years) women followed at 6-monthly intervals for 6 years in Kigali, Rwanda, were analyzed. The relationship of time-dependent measures of pregnancy and hormonal contraceptive use to death from HIV disease was assessed with multivariate models. Incident pregnancy was not associated with elevated risk of death among HIV-infected women. Oral and injectable hormonal contraceptive use had borderline protective effects associated with reduced mortality (HR 0.40, 95% CI 0.15-1.07 and HR 0.48, 95% CI 0.21-1.08 for mortality, respectively) in a multivariate model including time-dependent measures. The results point to the benefits of integrating family planning and HIV services. In a highly pronatalist society, such as Rwanda, which is experiencing high HIV prevalence, service integration affords an opportunity to provide HIV testing to women at risk of pregnancy and to promote family planning among HIV-positive women.Journal of Women's Health 10/2007; 16(7):1017-27. · 1.90 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Early initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) - that is, at higher CD4 cell counts (>350 cells/μl) - is a potent HIV prevention strategy. The WHO recommends ART initiation by all HIV-infected individuals in HIV serodiscordant relationships to prevent HIV transmission, yet the acceptability of early ART among couples has not been well studied. Qualitative study exploring HIV serodiscordant couples' attitudes toward early initiation of ART. We conducted eight focus group discussions and 20 in-depth interviews with members of heterosexual HIV serodiscordant couples in Kenya. Investigators iteratively applied inductive and deductive codes, developed matrices to identify patterns in codes, and reached consensus on key attitudes (motivations and barriers) related to early ART and one central, emerging theme. Most participants expressed interest in early initiation of ART, with maintaining health and preventing HIV transmission as key benefits. However, many identified personal concerns and potential barriers to wider community acceptance, including side-effects, adherence to life-long treatment, and stigma. The meaning of ART emerged as a fundamental consideration, with initiating therapy perceived as emblematic of the final stage of AIDS, when one was 'nearing the grave.' One particular challenge was what early ART might signify for someone who looks and feels healthy. HIV serodiscordant couples recognized the potential benefits of early ART, but ART was frequently viewed as signifying AIDS and approaching mortality. Potential implementation of early ART presents challenges and an opportunity to re-orientate individuals toward a new image of ART as health-preserving for patients and partners.AIDS (London, England) 01/2014; 28(2):227-33. · 6.56 Impact Factor