TitleThe Effect of Maternal Viral Load on the Risk of Perinatal Transmission of HIV-1. New York City Perinatal HIV Transmission Collaborative Study Group
AuthorsThea D. M., Steketee R. W., Pliner V., Bornschlegel K., Brown T., Orloff S., Matheson P. B., Abrams E. J., Bamji M., Lambert G., Schoenbaum E. A., Thomas P. A., Heagarty M., Kalish M. L.
PublicationAIDS. 1997 Mar; 11(4):437-44.
AbstractOBJECTIVE: To determine the effect of maternal viral load at delivery on the risk of perinatal transmission of HIV-1. DESIGN: A nested case-control study within a prospectively followed cohort of HIV-1-infected pregnant women and their infants. SETTING: The multicenter New York City Perinatal HIV Transmission Collaborative Study. PARTICIPANTS: Fifty-one women who gave birth to HIV-1 infected infants were frequency-matched within CD4+ cell count quintiles with 54 non-transmitting mothers. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Maternal quantity of HIV-1 viral RNA was assayed in plasma obtained near delivery using the nucleic acid sequence-based amplification assay system. RESULTS: Viral RNA was detected in 73 (70%) out of 105 women and the median viral load was 16,000 RNA copies/ml in transmitters and 6,600 in non-transmitters (P 500 x 10(6)/l (AOR, 9.1; 95% CI, 2.6-31.5). CONCLUSIONS: High maternal viral load increases the likelihood of perinatal transmission of HIV-1 in women without AIDS and advanced immunosuppression. HIV-1 infected pregnant women without advanced disease, shown by others to have the lowest risk of perinatal transmission, may benefit the most from efforts to identify and decrease viral load at delivery.