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Pregnancy Among HIV-Serodiscordant Couples: Case Report of Vertical Transmission and Retrospective Case Series

Author(s):

Bipasha Choudhury, Maria Stadnyk, Dolores Freire Jijon, Luke McLaughlin, Jamil N. Kanji, Carmen Charlton, Petra Smyczek, Wendy Vaudry, Stan Houston, Alena Tse-Chang and Michael T. Hawkes*   Pages 1 - 9 ( 9 )

Abstract:


Background: HIV transmission during pregnancy and breastfeeding among serodiscordant heterosexual couples represents an ongoing barrier to elimination of vertical transmission of HIV-1 infection in Canada.

Objective: To report a case of vertical HIV transmission during breastfeeding and examine the prevalence of risk factors for HIV transmission in the pregnancy and postpartum periods among serodiscordant couples where the male partner is HIV positive and female partner HIV negative.

Methods: Case report and retrospective chart review of HIV-serodiscordant pregnant couples over an eight-year period in Edmonton, Canada.

Results: We report a case of maternal primary HIV infection during the postpartum period and vertical transmission to a nursing infant that went undetected until the infant presented with AIDS. We also report a series of 41 serodiscordant pregnant couples identified by our public health nurse between 2008 and 2016. Among HIV-infected male partners, 20 (49%) had detectable viral load (VL) during their partner’s pregnancy and during breastfeeding, with median peak VL 4,700 copies/mL (range 49-120,000) and 5,100 copies/mL (range 40-120,000) during pregnancy and breastfeeding, respectively. None of the female partners seroconverted during pregnancy, but three seroconverted at 1.8, 2.4, and 6.9 years after delivery. No vertical transmission occurred.

Conclusion: Despite concerted attempts to minimize HIV transmission during pregnancy and breastfeeding in our wellresourced setting, residual transmission risk remains due to non-suppressed viral load within many HIV-serodiscordant pregnant couples.

Keywords:

HIV, heterosexual transmission, vertical transmission, serodiscordant couple, prevention, pregnancy

Affiliation:

Department of Pediatrics, University of Alberta, Edmonton,, STI Clinic, Edmonton General Hospital, Edmonton,, Department of Pediatrics, University of Alberta, Edmonton,, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Alberta, Edmonton,, Public Health Laboratory, Alberta Precision Laboratories, University of Alberta Hospital, Edmonton,, Member, Women and Children's Health Research Institute, Edmonton,, STI Clinic, Edmonton General Hospital, Edmonton,, Department of Pediatrics, University of Alberta, Edmonton,, School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Edmonton,, Department of Pediatrics, University of Alberta, Edmonton,, Distinguished Researcher, Stollery Science Lab, Edmonton



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