Management of HIV infection during pregnancy

Joseph P. McGowan, Sanjiv S. Shah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Optimal management of HIV infection in pregnancy requires maternal use of potent antiretroviral therapy to prevent disease progression in the mother and vertical transmission to the newborn. Combination antiretroviral therapy substantially reduces the risk of perinatal HIV transmission and appears to be more effective than zidovudine monotherapy. The administration of single dose nevirapine to mother intrapartum and infant postpartum effectively reduces vertical HIV transmission and is less costly and cumbersome than zidovudine regimens. Elective cesarean section reduces vertical transmission of HIV but its benefit is less clear when antiretroviral therapy decreases maternal plasma HIV viral load to low levels at delivery. If possible, HIV-infected mothers should avoid breastfeeding. The present review discusses the importance of early identification of maternal HIV infection, strict adherence to combination antiretroviral regimens to prevent drug resistance, developing a better understanding of antiretroviral pharmacokinetics in pregnancy and short/long term safety of anti-HIV drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-367
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2000
Externally publishedYes


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