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Rev Epidemiol Sante Publique. 2001 Jun;49(3):221-8.

[Impaired fertility in women infected with HIV-1. Implications for sentinel serosurveillance].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Centre MURAZ, Organisation de Coordination et de Coopération pour la lutte contre les Grandes Endémies (OCCGE), 01 B.P. 153 Bobo-Dioulasso 01, Burkina Faso.



Given the relationship between HIV infection and fertility, antenatal clinic-based HIV prevalence may not provide a good estimate of the community HIV prevalence. The objective of this work was to evaluate the impact of HIV infection on fertility among women attending antenatal clinics in Bobo-Dioulasso (Burkina Faso), and to discuss possible implications on HIV sentinel surveillance.


In the context of a phase II/III clinical trial of a short course of Zidovudine during pregnancy (DITRAME - ANRS 049 trial) we consecutively proposed voluntary counselling and HIV testing (VCT) to 1349 women aged at least 18 years, carrying a pregnancy of 7 months or less and living in Bobo-Dioulasso. During pre-test counselling session, a standardised questionnaire was administered to collect detailed information regarding socio-demographic characteristics and obstetrical history. Blood samples were then taken and tested for HIV after written informed consent.


Mean age (+/- standard deviation) at first sexual intercourse was similar among HIV-infected (HIV+) (16.7+/- 2; n=83) and HIV-negative (HIV-) women (16.9+/- 2; n=1336). However, HIV+ women aged 25 years and above had, on the average fewer pregnancies (3.8+/- 1.5; n=37) than HIV- women (5.0+/- 2.3; n=567), p<0.01. Similarly, these HIV+ women had, on average, less live births (2.8+/- 1.3; n=35) than HIV- ones (3.7+/- 2.1; n=555), p=0.02. Other sexual and obstetrical characteristics such as maternal age, proportion of primigravidae, stillbirths or spontaneous abortions were comparable between HIV+ and HIV- women.


Our data suggest that the level of fertility of HIV+ women aged 25 years and above is significantly lower than for HIV- women. Therefore, HIV+ women in this age group are likely to be under-represented among antenatal clinic attendees. These findings suggest adjusting antenatal clinic-based HIV sentinel surveillance data for age and fertility in order to derive a good estimate of the community HIV prevalence.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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