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AIDS. 2003 Mar 7;17(4):595-603.

HIV increases the risk of malaria in women of all gravidities in Kisumu, Kenya.

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Kenya Medical Research Institute, Center for Vector Biology and Control Research, Kisumu, Kenya.



To study the importance of HIV infection for malaria in pregnancy in Kisumu, Kenya.


Healthy women with an uncomplicated pregnancy of 32 weeks or more attending the prenatal clinic in the Provincial Hospital between June 1996 and March 1999 were tested for HIV and malaria after consent had been obtained. For participating women who delivered in the same hospital, a blood smear of the mother and the placenta were obtained.


In the third trimester, 5093 women consented to testing: the prevalence of malaria and HIV was 20.1 and 24.9%, respectively. Among the 2502 screened women who delivered in the hospital, the prevalence of HIV, peripheral parasitaemia and placental malaria was 24.5, 15.2, and 19.0%, respectively. Compared with HIV-seronegative women, HIV-seropositive women were more likely to be parasitaemic, to have higher parasite densities, and to be febrile when parasitaemic. Placental infections in HIV-seropositive women were more likely to be chronic, as indicated by the presence of moderate to heavy pigment depositions. When adjusted by age, the typical gravidity-specific pattern of malaria in pregnancy disappeared in HIV-seropositive women; HIV-seropositive primigravidae had a similar risk of malaria as HIV-seropositive multigravidae. The excess malaria attributable to HIV in the third trimester increased from 34.6% among HIV-seropositive primigravidae, to 41.5% among HIV-seropositive secundigravidae, and 50.7% among HIV-seropositive gravidae with three or more pregnancies.


HIV infection alters patterns of malaria in pregnant women; in areas with both infections, all pregnant women should use malaria prevention.

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