Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Pregnancy may slow -- not accelerate -- progression to AIDS

21.09.2007
A new study may help put to rest fears that pregnancy accelerates progression to full-blown AIDS in women with HIV receiving antiretroviral therapy. The study, published in the October 1st issue of the Journal of Infectious Diseases and now available online, revealed that pregnancy may, in fact, slow disease progression in these women.

Before the advent of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), many women with HIV infection or AIDS were told that becoming pregnant would be unwise because there was thought to be a 25 percent risk of transmitting the virus to the child and that the effects of pregnancy on disease progression were unclear. It is now clear that the use of HAART in pregnancy can reduce the HIV transmission to the newborn to approximately 1 percent, but the effects of pregnancy on the HIV-infected woman remain unknown.

To determine the effects of pregnancy on HIV disease progression in the HAART era, Timothy R. Sterling, MD, and colleagues at Vanderbilt University performed an observational study of HIV-infected women between 1997 and 2004. Disease progression was defined as experiencing an AIDS-defining event such as Kaposi’s sarcoma, Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, or Candida fungal infection of the esophagus; or death. Of the 759 women studied, 71 percent (540) were receiving HAART. Eighteen percent (139) of women studied had one or more pregnancy during this study.

Based on the results of studies conducted before HAART, researchers had expected there might be no difference in HIV disease progression between pregnant and non-pregnant women. What Sterling and colleagues found was that women who became pregnant actually had a lower risk of HIV disease progression and were healthier than women who did not become pregnant. Women experienced a lower risk of disease progression both before and after pregnancy. This may be a result of the healthier immune status of women who become pregnant and/or a beneficial interaction between pregnancy and HAART.

Although the pregnant women in the study were younger than the non-pregnant women, had higher initial CD4+ lymphocyte counts (white blood cells that are attacked by HIV), and a smaller amount of HIV RNA in their plasma, their risk of disease progression remained lower even after factoring in these differences. Nor did it matter that the pregnant women also were more likely to receive HAART and more likely to attend clinic appointments.

Additionally, women with multiple pregnancies during follow-up tended to have a lower risk of disease progression than did women with only one pregnancy. Sterling notes, “This apparent dose-response relationship supports a possible protective effect of pregnancy on disease progression. Pregnancy is associated with a complex set of immunological changes during the gestation period, which may provide additional benefit to the mother’s health.”

In an accompanying editorial, Kathryn Anastos, MD, of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine emphasized that although understanding of this complexity is not complete,

Dr. Sterling’s study gives hope that correlative studies of the immune response to pregnancy and the influence of pregnancy on HIV disease may help to provide the needed information.

Dr. Anastos suggested that this information may be of particular significance to women in resource-limited communities, who generally bear more children than do those in higher-resource communities. She noted that “women can now have greater confidence that in addition to protecting their children from [mother-to-child transmission of HIV] with HAART, their own health will not be compromised by pregnancy, which would place their children at long-term risk…the findings by Sterling and coworkers suggest that at least for HIV disease progression, the odds may be in their favor.”

Fast facts:

1) Women who became pregnant had a lower risk of HIV disease progression and were healthier than women who did not become pregnant.

2) Women with multiple pregnancies during follow-up tended to have a lower risk of disease progression than women with one pregnancy.

3) Currently, nearly all mother-to-child transmission can be prevented by the administration of appropriate HAART regimens during pregnancy and delivery, with postnatal treatment for the infant.

Steve Baragona | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.hivma.org
http://www.idsociety.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Real-time feedback helps save energy and water
08.02.2017 | Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

Im Focus: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A better way to measure the stiffness of cancer cells

01.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

Exploring the mysteries of supercooled water

01.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Research team of the HAW Hamburg reanimated ancestral microbe from the depth of the earth

01.03.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>