AJOG Examines HIV-Positive Pregnant Women, Caesarean Section Delivery, HIV Drug Use
The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology this month published three studies pertaining to HIV and pregnancy. A round-up of the different studies follows:
- Researchers in cooperation with the CDC interviewed 264 HIV-positive pregnant women in Miami, Fla., Brooklyn, N.Y., Connecticut and North Carolina to determine the "clinical and psychosocial factors associated with prenatal zidovudine use and adherence." Prenatal zidovudine, an antiretroviral drug, was prescribed for 94% of the women, with 37% of the women on zidovudine alone. Of the women on the drug, 20% reported "incomplete adherence" to their prescribed regimen. Those who reported using heroin or cocaine in the prenatal period were three times more likely to not adhere to their prescribed dosage as women who had not reported drug use (Wilson et al., AJOG, May 2001).
- Researchers with the Women's Interagency HIV Study interviewed 2,059 HIV-positive women at six-month intervals from October 1994 to November 1995 to compare the frequency of use of highly active antiretroviral therapy by pregnant women and non-pregnant women who met the same criteria for HAART use. The study found that an "increasing percentage of women" who met the criteria for use of HAART received therapy and that pregnancy is only a "relatively small impediment to its use" (Minkoff et al., AJOG, May 2001).
- A team of researchers from Emory University compared 86 HIV-positive women undergoing Caesarean deliveries from 1992 to 2000 to a control group of 86 HIV-negative women matched for age, race and year of delivery to determine "the complication rates associated with Caesarean delivery." Researchers found that HIV-positive women were "significantly more likely" to have minor postoperative complications, including febrile morbidity, but the rate of major complications was the same for both groups. The use of zidovudine was associated with a decrease in maternal morbidity among the HIV-positive group (Rodriguez et al., AJOG, May 2001).