Women with a combined HIV/malaria infection more frequently experience complications during pregnancy than healthy women. This is revealed in research from Kenya. However, to their surprise the researchers established that HIV-infected mothers with a mild malaria infection less frequently transmit the HIV infection to their children than HIV-infected mothers without malaria.
In Kenya, the epidemiologists Annemieke van Eijk and John Ayisi investigated the interaction between HIV and malaria as well as the effect of both infections on mother and child during and after the pregnancy. The research revealed that pregnant women have a greater chance of developing malaria. This chance is even greater if the woman is pregnant for the first time. Also women younger than 20 years and women with an HIV infection are more susceptible to malaria.
Women with the combination HIV/malaria turned out to have a greater chance of developing anaemia during pregnancy and after childbirth. Their children also developed anaemia more often. If the child has HIV, the chance of it developing anaemia is greater. If the child has both HIV and malaria, anaemia develops even more frequently.
Michel Philippens | alfa
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