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AIDS Behav. 2010 Dec;14(6):1269-78. doi: 10.1007/s10461-010-9705-0.

Substance use in HIV-Infected women during pregnancy: self-report versus meconium analysis.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


We evaluated prenatal substance use in a cohort of 480 HIV-infected women and their uninfected children. Substance use was reported by 29%; the most common substances reported were tobacco (18%), alcohol (10%), and marijuana (7.2%). Fewer than 4% of women reported cocaine or opiate use. Substance use was more common in the first trimester (25%) than the second (17%) and third (15%) (trend p-value <0.01), and was associated with race/ethnicity, education, birthplace, age and marital status. For 264 mother/infant pairs with meconium results, sensitivity of self-report was 86% for tobacco, 80% for marijuana and 67% for cocaine. Higher discordance between self-report and urine/blood toxicology was observed for cocaine, marijuana and opiates in a non-random subset of mothers/infants with these tests. Findings suggest reasonably complete self-reporting of substance use as confirmed by meconium analysis. Illicit substance use was low and substantially less than that reported in earlier studies of HIV-infected women, but alcohol and tobacco exposure was prevalent.

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