Share this article on:

Illness during pregnancy and bacterial vaginosis are associated with in-utero HIV-1 transmission

Farquhar, Careya,b; Mbori-Ngacha, Dorothyc; Overbaugh, Julied; Wamalwa, Daltonc; Harris, Jennifera; Bosire, Rosee; John-Stewart, Gracea,b

doi: 10.1097/QAD.0b013e32832326d8
Research Letters

HIV-1 transmission in utero accounts for 20–30% of vertical transmission events in breast-feeding populations. In a prospective study of 463 HIV-1-infected mothers and infants, illness during pregnancy was associated with 2.6-fold increased risk of in-utero HIV-1 transmission [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.2–5.8] and bacterial vaginosis with a three-fold increase (95% CI 1.0–7.0) after adjusting for maternal HIV-1 viral load. Interventions targeting these novel risk factors could lead to more effective prevention of transmission during pregnancy.

aDepartment of Epidemiology, USA

bDepartment of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, USA

cDepartment of Paediatrics, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya

dDivision of Public Health Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Cancer, Seattle, Washington, USA

eKenya Medical Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya.

Received 4 September, 2008

Revised 2 November, 2008

Accepted 11 November, 2008

Correspondence to Carey Farquhar, MD, MPH, Departments of Medicine and Epidemiology, University of Washington, 325 Ninth Avenue, Box 359909, Seattle, WA 98104, USA. Tel: +1 206 543 4278; fax: +1 206 543 4818; e-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.