Pregnancy and transmission of Human Immunodefiency Virus (HIV) among serodiscord couples in Jos University Teaching Hospital
Background: Serodiscordant couples, have been used to study heterosexual transmission risk because of the high frequency of sexual acts that occur in stable relationships. The hormonal changes during pregnancy could influence heterosexual transmission in serodiscordant relationships. The prevalence of serodiscordant relationship is high in Jos and there are conflicting reports on the incidence of seroconversion among serodiscordant couples. Also, the factors responsible for seroconversion are not well understood and the foregoing reasons stimulated this study.
Methodology: This was a prospective cohort study of HIV seropositive pregnant women and their seronegative male partners who were attending the antenatal /prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV clinic of the Jos University Teaching Hospital.
Results: Out of the forty-nine (49) couples studied, only one seroconverted giving an incidence of 1/49 (20.4 per 1000 couple). The mean gestational age at initial testing was 21.4 weeks and that at repeat testing was 38.8 weeks with an average follow up time of 11.49 weeks. The average age was 32.81yrs, out of these 29 had tertiary education (59.2%). The predominant ethnic group was Berom (24.5%) and majority (44.9%) of the participants were civil servants. The mean frequency of sexual intercourse per week was 2.55 times, (36.7%) do not use condoms during sexual intercourse and only (9.7%) always use condom during sexual intercourse.
Conclusion: The incidence of HIV transmission to the male uninfected partner in a serodiscodant setting in Jos during pregnancy is low but its occurrence in this study suggests the need to re-test the seronegative male partners after every pregnancy.
Keywords: pregnancy, human immunodeficiency virus, serodiscordance, seroconversion