Author(s): Lieve Vd, Shafer LA, Mayanja BN, Whitworth JA, Grosskurth H
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effect of pregnancy on HIV disease progression and survival among HIV-infected women in rural Uganda, prior to the introduction of anti-retroviral therapy (ART). METHODS: From a clinical cohort established in 1990, we selected records from HIV-infected women of reproductive age. We conducted two analyses: (1) all HIV-infected cases contributing to analysis of CD4 decline, using a linear regression model with random intercepts and slopes; (b) incident cases with known date of seroconversion contributed to analyses of median time to CD4 <200 cells/microl, AIDS and death. RESULTS: A total of 139 women were included in the analysis of CD4 decline. Women who subsequently became pregnant had higher CD4 counts at enrolment and had a slower CD4 decline than those who did not become pregnant. In women who became pregnant, CD4 decline was faster after pregnancy than before (P < 0.0001). The survival analyses showed no significant differences between women who became pregnant and those who did not with respect to median time to CD4 count <200, AIDS or death. CONCLUSIONS: The initial comparative immunological advantage possessed by fertile women before they become pregnant is subsequently lost as a result of their pregnancy. Women should be informed about the potential negative effect of pregnancy on their immunological status and should be offered contraception. In resource-limited settings, women determined to become pregnant should be given priority for ART if eligible.
This article was published in Trop Med Int Health
and referenced in Journal of Blood Disorders & Transfusion