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Braz J Infect Dis. 2001 Apr;5(2):78-86.

Successful prevention of hiv transmission from mother to infant in Brazil using a multidisciplinary team approach.

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  • 1Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.



To determine the HIV vertical transmission rate (VTR) and associated risk factors by use of zidovudine and infant care education in Brazil.


Since 1995, a prospective cohort of HIV infected pregnant women has been followed at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. A multidisciplinary team was established to implement the best available strategy to prevent maternal-infant HIV transmission. Patients with AIDS or low CD(4) and high viral load received anti-retroviral drugs in addition to zidovudine. Children were considered infected if they had 2 positive PCR-RNA tests between 1 and 4 months of age, or were HIV antibody positive after 18 months. Education regarding infant treatment and use of formula instead of breast feeding was provided.


Between 1995 and August, 2000, HIV status was determined for 145 infants. Compliance with intra-partum treatment, infant treatment and use of formula was 88.2%. Intra-partum zidovudine treatment was completed in 134/145 (92.6%) of patients; 88.1% had rupture of membranes < 4 hours; 85.4% of mothers were asymptomatic. The mean CD(4) count was 428.4 cells and mean viral load 39,050 copies. HIV vertical transmission rate was 4/145 (2.75%; CI: 0.1%-5.4%). The only risk factor significantly associated with transmission was a failure to use zidovudine intra-partum in 2 of the 4 mothers (50% versus 6.4% in non-transmitting mothers). A trend toward low CD(4) and high viral load at entry, and rupture of membranes > 4 hours were associated with increased HIV transmission.


HIV vertical transmission in Brazil was reduced to a level similar to other countries with the most effective prevention programs using a multidisciplinary team approach. A high level of compliance for use of anti-retroviral drugs, the provision of health education to mothers, and use of formula for all exposed infants.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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