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HIV Med. 2011 Feb;12(2):118-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-1293.2010.00878.x.

Pregnancy in HIV-infected teenagers in London.

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Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.



The aim of the study was to describe pregnancies in HIV-infected teenagers.


A review of the case notes of HIV-infected pregnant teenagers aged 13-19 years from 12 London hospitals was carried out for the period 2000-2007.


There were 67 pregnancies in 58 young women, of whom one was known to have acquired HIV vertically. The overall mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) rate of HIV was 1.5% (one of 66). There were 66 live births. Median ages at HIV diagnosis and conception were 17 and 18 years, respectively. Sixty-three per cent of women were diagnosed with HIV infection through routine antenatal screening. Eighty-two per cent of pregnancies (41 of 50) were unplanned, with 65% of women (26 of 40) using no contraception. Forty-three per cent of the women (20 of 46) had a past history of a sexually transmitted infection (STI). In 63 pregnancies, antiretroviral therapy was started post-conception, with prevention of HIV MTCT the only indication in 81% of cases. Fifty-eight per cent of those on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) had an undetectable HIV viral load by delivery. Eighty-seven per cent were uncomplicated pregnancies. Seventy-one per cent delivered by Caesarean section and 21% (14 of 64) had a preterm delivery (<37 weeks). In the 12 months after delivery, 45% of women received contraceptive advice and 25% of women became pregnant again.


Obstetric and virological outcomes were favourable in this group of HIV-infected young women. However, the majority of pregnancies were unplanned with poor documentation of contraception use and advice and low rates of STI screening. A quarter of women conceived again within 12 months of delivery. Effective measures to reduce STIs, unplanned pregnancies and onward HIV transmission in HIV-infected teenagers are needed.

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