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Obstet Gynecol Int J. 2016;5(6). pii: 180. doi: 10.15406/ogij.2016.05.00180. Epub 2016 Dec 15.

HIV and ZIKA in Pregnancy: Parallel Stories and New Challenges.

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Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, UPR School of Medicine, Puerto Rico.
Nova Southeastern School of Pharmacy, Puerto Rico.


On February 1, 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Zika virus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Because Zika virus is a relatively new infection with several transmission routes that include mosquito bites, sexual and possibly blood-related, we present the case for a parallel between the Zika epidemic and the AIDS epidemic for issues that relate particularly to pregnancy and epidemic response. We will discuss the many similarities between both epidemics while acknowledging that the viruses are different and the pathophysiology and disease manifestation are also different. What can we learn of the three decades of awareness campaigns, community involvement, clinical, behavior and prevention research, activism and policy-making related to HIV/AIDS? How can the lessons and experience of dealing with the HIV epidemic can help us deal with the ongoing Zika epidemic? Is there a roadmap that we can follow? Our position is that we can and we should. Parallels between the Zika and HIV/AIDS epidemics particularly in relation to pregnancy can be established. Lessons and successes from the HIV/AIDS epidemic control efforts can guide us towards comprehensive approaches to improve the health of women and infants at risk for Zika.


HIV; Pregnancy; ZIKA

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