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Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2009 Aug;103(8):761-7. doi: 10.1016/j.trstmh.2008.06.017. Epub 2008 Aug 15.

Malaria and HIV co-infection in pregnancy in sub-Saharan Africa: impact of treatment using antimalarial and antiretroviral agents.

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  • 1Department of Medical Microbiology/Parasitology, Faculty of Clinical Medicine, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Nigeria.


Malaria and HIV infection represent severe public health problems in sub-Saharan Africa, and pregnant women are at increased risk because the two diseases intersect in pregnancy, causing adverse perinatal outcome. As access to antiretroviral drugs is increasing in the sub-region, and new combinations of antimalarial drugs are being implemented while more are being evaluated, there is potential for interactions between these therapies. In this report, the impact of treatment using antimalarial and antiretroviral agents in pregnant women with malaria and HIV co-infection was reviewed, using scientific publications identified through a Medline Entrez-Pubmed search with reference to sub-Saharan Africa. The safety and operational feasibility of use of antimalarial and antiretroviral agents to treat co-infected pregnant women were evaluated. Although use of these therapies was shown to improve the health of pregnant women with co-infection, low adherence, poor-quality drugs, resource scarcity, lack of infrastructure and inadequate treatment in sub-Saharan Africa continue to hamper treatment outcome. The absence of studies on interaction between antimalarials and antiretrovirals, as well as mounting evidence of treatment failure due to drug resistance and adverse drug reactions, in most parts of sub-Saharan Africa, make the establishment of new guidelines for the prevention of malaria and HIV infection during pregnancy imperative.

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