Distinct risk factors for intrauterine and intrapartum human immunodeficiency virus transmission and consequences for disease progression in infected children

Louise Kuhn, Richard W. Steketee, Jeremy Weedon, Elaine J. Abrams, Genevieve Lambert, Marukh Bamji, Ellie Schoenbaum, John Farley, Steve R. Nesheim, Paul Palumbo, R. J. Simonds, Donald M. Thea

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81 Scopus citations


Predictors and prognosis of intrauterine and intrapartum human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission were investigated among 432 children of HIV-infected women in the Perinatal AIDS Collaborative Transmission Study. Timing of transmission was inferred from polymerase chain reaction or vital culture within 2 days of birth. Proportions of infections due to intrauterine transmission were similar among women using (29%) or not using zidovudine (30%). Preterm delivery was strongly associated with intrapartum transmission (relative risk, 3.7; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.2-6.1), particularly among infants delivered longer after membrane rupture, but was not associated with intrauterine transmission. Progression to AIDS or death increased 2.5-fold (95% CI, 1.1-5.8) among intrauterine infected children, adjusting for preterm delivery, and maternal CD4 cell count. Early transmission appears unlikely to explain instances of zidovudine failure. Preterm infants may be more vulnerable to HIV acquisition at delivery, especially if membrane rupture is prolonged. Intrauterine infection does not appear to increase risk of preterm delivery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-58
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 20 1999
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases

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