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      Safety and Tolerability of Antiretrovirals during Pregnancy

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          Combination antiretroviral therapy (CART) dramatically decreases mother-to-child HIV-1 transmission (MTCT), but maternal adverse events are not infrequent. A review of 117 locally followed pregnancies revealed 7 grade ≥3 AEs possibly related to antiretrovirals, including 2 hematologic, 3 hepatic, and 2 obstetric cholestasis cases. A fetal demise was attributed to obstetric cholestasis, but no maternal deaths occurred. The drugs possibly associated with these AE were zidovudine, nelfinavir, lopinavir/ritonavir, and indinavir. AE or intolerability required discontinuation/substitution of nevirapine in 16% of the users, zidovudine in 10%, nelfinavir in 9%, lopinavir/ritonavir in 1%, but epivir and stavudine in none. In conclusion, nevirapine, zidovudine, and nelfinavir had the highest frequency of AE and/or the lowest tolerability during pregnancy. Although nevirapine and nelfinavir are infrequently used in pregnancy at present, zidovudine is included in most MTCT preventative regimens. Our data emphasize the need to revise the treatment recommendations for pregnant women to include safer and better-tolerated drugs.

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          Reduction of maternal-infant transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 with zidovudine treatment. Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group Protocol 076 Study Group.

          Maternal-infant transmission is the primary means by which young children become infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV). We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of the efficacy and safety of zidovudine in reducing the risk of maternal-infant HIV transmission. HIV-infected pregnant women (14 to 34 weeks' gestation) with CD4+ T-lymphocyte counts above 200 cells per cubic millimeter who had not received antiretroviral therapy during the current pregnancy were enrolled. The zidovudine regimen included antepartum zidovudine (100 mg orally five times daily), intrapartum zidovudine (2 mg per kilogram of body weight given intravenously over one hour, then 1 mg per kilogram per hour until delivery), and zidovudine for the newborn (2 mg per kilogram orally every six hours for six weeks). Infants with at least one positive HIV culture of peripheral-blood mononuclear cells were classified as HIV-infected. From April 1991 through December 20, 1993, the cutoff date for the first interim analysis of efficacy, 477 pregnant women were enrolled; during the study period, 409 gave birth to 415 live-born infants. HIV-infection status was known for 363 births (180 in the zidovudine group and 183 in the placebo group). Thirteen infants in the zidovudine group and 40 in the placebo group were HIV-infected. The proportions infected at 18 months, as estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method, were 8.3 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 3.9 to 12.8 percent) in the zidovudine group and 25.5 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 18.4 to 32.5 percent) in the placebo group. This corresponds to a 67.5 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 40.7 to 82.1 percent) relative reduction in the risk of HIV transmission (Z = 4.03, P = 0.00006). Minimal short-term toxic effects were observed. The level of hemoglobin at birth in the infants in the zidovudine group was significantly lower than that in the infants in the placebo group. By 12 weeks of age, hemoglobin values in the two groups were similar. In pregnant women with mildly symptomatic HIV disease and no prior treatment with antiretroviral drugs during the pregnancy, a regimen consisting of zidovudine given ante partum and intra partum to the mother and to the newborn for six weeks reduced the risk of maternal-infant HIV transmission by approximately two thirds.
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            Low rates of mother-to-child transmission of HIV following effective pregnancy interventions in the United Kingdom and Ireland, 2000-2006.

            In the United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland, avoidance of breastfeeding and alternative combinations of antiretroviral therapy regimen and mode of delivery are recommended according to maternal clinical status. The aim of this analysis was to explore the impact of different strategies to prevent mother-to-child transmission at a population level. Comprehensive national surveillance study. Pregnancies in diagnosed HIV-infected women in the UK and Ireland are notified to the National Study of HIV in Pregnancy and Childhood; infant infection status is subsequently reported. Factors associated with transmission in this observational study were explored for singleton births between 2000 and 2006. The overall mother-to-child transmission rate was 1.2% (61/5151, 95% confidence interval: 0.9-1.5%), and 0.8% (40/4864) for women who received at least 14 days of antiretroviral therapy. Transmission rates following combinations recommended in British guidelines were 0.7% (17/2286) for highly active antiretroviral therapy with planned Caesarean section, 0.7% (4/559) for highly active antiretroviral therapy with planned vaginal delivery, and 0% (0/464) for zidovudine monotherapy with planned Caesarean section (P = 0.150). Longer duration of highly active antiretroviral therapy was associated with reduced transmission after adjusting for viral load, mode of delivery and sex (adjusted odds ratio = 0.90 per week of highly active antiretroviral therapy, P = 0.007). Among 2117 infants born to women on highly active antiretroviral therapy with viral load less than 50 copies/ml, only three (0.1%) were infected, two with evidence of in-utero transmission. Sustained low HIV transmission rates following different combinations of interventions in this large unselected population are encouraging. Current options for treatment and delivery offered to pregnant women according to British guidelines appear to be effective.
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              Mother-to-child transmission of HIV infection in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy.

              Very low rates of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are achievable with use of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). We examine risk factors for MTCT in the HAART era and describe infants who were vertically infected, despite exposure to prophylactic MTCT interventions. Of the 4525 mother-child pairs in this prospective cohort study, 1983 were enrolled during the period of January 1997 through May 2004. Factors examined included use of antiretroviral therapy during pregnancy, maternal CD4 cell count and HIV RNA level, mode of delivery, and gestational age in logistic regression analysis. Receipt of antenatal antiretroviral therapy increased from 5% at the start of the HAART era to 92% in 2001-2003. The overall MTCT rate in this period was 2.87% (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.11%-3.81%), but it was 0.99% (95% CI, 0.32%-2.30%) during 2001-2003. In logistic regression analysis that included 885 mother-child pairs, MTCT risk was associated with high maternal viral load (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 12.1; P=.003) and elective Caesarean section (AOR, 0.33; P=.04). Detection of maternal HIV RNA was significantly associated with antenatal use of antiretroviral therapy, CD4 cell count, and mode of delivery. Among 560 women with undetectable HIV RNA levels, elective Caesarean section was associated with a 90% reduction in MTCT risk (odds ratio, 0.10; 95% CI, 0.03-0.33), compared with vaginal delivery or emergency Caesarean section. Our results suggest that offering an elective Caesarean section delivery to all HIV-infected women, even in areas where HAART is available, is appropriate clinical management, especially for persons with detectable viral loads. Our results also suggest that previously identified risk factors remain important.

                Author and article information

                Infect Dis Obstet Gynecol
                Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
                Hindawi Publishing Corporation
                11 April 2011
                : 2011
                1School of Medicine University of Colorado Denver, Research Complex 2, Mail Stop 8604, 12700 E. 19th Avenue, Aurora, CO 80045, USA
                2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Colorado Hospital, Aurora, CO 80045, USA
                3Pediatric Infectious Diseases, The Children's Hospital, Aurora, CO, USA
                Author notes

                Academic Editor: Michael G. Gravett

                Copyright © 2011 Adriana Weinberg et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Clinical Study

                Obstetrics & Gynecology


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