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HIV in Pregnancy: Experience at Abeokuta, Nigeria

A. Olubukola Fawole
Oladapo S. Sotiloye
Kehinde I. Hunyinbo
Olufunmilayo I Fawole
Ayodele O. Oladimeji
Adetoye Durodola
Sunday I. Omisakin
Abiodun O. Bale
Usen A. Udo
E. Oladipo Otolorin


Background: The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) pandemic remains a major threat to public health. Measures to minimize mother to child transfusion remain a major focus of research.

Objectives: To determine the prevalence of HIV in pregnancy in our obstetric clinic population and evaluate the effects of HIV infection on the course and outcome of pregnancy.

Materials & Methods: A case-control study of all HIV-positive pregnant women who delivered at the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta between January, 1997 and June, 2000. Selected characteristics including age, parity, gestational age at booking, weight gain in pregnancy, duration of pregnancy and the infants characteristics were compared between seropositive and negative women.

Results: Sixteen women had HIV infection among a total of 2,442 women booked during the study period. The prevalence of HIV infection in pregnancy was 0.7%. Following diagnosis, eight of the HIV positive women defaulted from ante-natal care None opted for anti-retroviral therapy. There were no statistically significant differences in the haematocrit at booking (p=0.9), the weight gain in pregnancy (p=0.2), birth-weights between the two groups. All the women had vaginal deliveries. There were significant differences in the infants Apgar scores and perinatal mortality rates were higher in the HIV positive group. All the mothers chose to breastfeed their infants.

Conclusion: HIV infection in this population is associated with birth asphyxia and a high perinatal mortality rate. The survivors are also at great risk of vertical transmission during breast-feeding.

Key Words: HIV, Pregnancy, Vertical Transmission, Birth Asphyxia.

[Trop J Obstet Gynaecol, 2002, 19: 21-24].

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eISSN: 0189-5117