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Free Content Effect of pregnancy on immunological and virological outcomes of women on ART: a prospective cohort study in rural Uganda, 2004–2009

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Objectives  Before antiretroviral therapy (ART) introduction, pregnancy was associated with a sustained drop in CD4 cell count in HIV‐infected women. We examined the effects of pregnancy on immunological and virological ART outcomes.

Methods  Between January 2004 and March 2009, we studied HIV‐infected women receiving ART in a prospective open cohort study in rural Uganda. We used random effects regression models to compare the CD4 counts of women who became pregnant and those who did not, and among the pregnant women before and after pregnancy. CD4 count and proportions with detectable viral load (≥400 copies/ml) were compared between the two groups using the Mann–Whitney rank sum test and logistic regression respectively.

Results  Of 88 women aged 20–40 years receiving ART, 23 became pregnant. At ART initiation, there were no significant differences between those who became pregnant and those who did not in clinical, immunological and virological parameters. Among women who became pregnant, CD4 cell count increased before pregnancy (average 75.9 cells/mm3 per year), declined during pregnancy (average 106.0) but rose again in the first year after delivery (average 88.6). Among women who did not become pregnant, the average CD4 cell count rise per year for the first 3 years was 88.5. There was no significant difference in the proportions of women with detectable viral load at last clinic visit among those who became pregnant (8.7%) and those who did not (16.1%), P = 0.499.

Conclusion  Pregnancy had no lasting effect on the immunological and virological outcomes of HIV‐infected women on ART.

Language: English

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations:  MRC/UVRI Uganda Research Unit on AIDS, Entebbe, Uganda

Publication date: 2012-03-01

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