Influence of other maternal variables on the relationship between maternal virus load and mother-to-infant transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1

David N. Burns, Sheldon Landesman, David J. Wright, David Waters, Richard M. Mitchell, Arye Rubinstein, Anne Willoughby, James J. Goedert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Scopus citations


To assess the relationship between maternal human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 RNA level, other important covariates, and mother-to-infant (vertical) transmission of HIV-1, third trimester repository specimens from 160 HIV-1-seropositive women enrolled in the Mothers and Infants Cohort Study between 1986 and 1991 were assayed in batch for HIV-1 RNA. A significant association between peripheral blood HIV-1 RNA level and vertical transmission remained after controlling for CD4 cell level, duration of ruptured membranes, 'hard' drug (cocaine and heroin) use, and frequency of sexual activity during pregnancy. However, the association was attenuated among women with advanced HIV infection and those with a high frequency of sexual activity during pregnancy. In these settings, interventions that target risk factors other than virus load may be particularly important for preventing vertical transmission of HIV-1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1206-1210
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1997
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases

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