Abstract

The objective of this study was to determine whether pregnancy is associated with an acceleration of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease progression in women who have a pregnancy while HIV infected. A retrospective review of all women aged 15–35 who attended an HIV outpatient program from January 1989 through August 1995, was undertaken. The 192 women who had a term pregnancy after testing positive for HIV were compared with 164 women who were not pregnant during the same period. The main outcome measures were death, the occurrence of a first acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)-defining condition, or a condition indicative of symptomatic HIV. Disease progression was assessed using the Kaplan-Meier method and multivariate proportional hazards models. Compared with nonpregnant women, women with a term pregnancy were significantly more likely to be African-American (88% vs. 78%, p < 0.05), younger than 22 years of age (51% vs. 11%, p < 0.001). and to have entered the clinic with a higher median CD4 count (519 vs. 433 cells/μl, p < 0.001). After adjusting for entry CD4 count and other factors, pregnancy was not associated with progression to any of the study outcomes. Thus, in women attending a publicly funded clinic, pregnancy does not appear to accelerate the progression of HIV disease. Am J Epidemiol 1998; 147:434–40.