Care of HIV-infected pregnant women in maternal-fetal medicine programs

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology








Anti-HIV Agents; HIV; Vertical Disease Transmission


Objective: To survey the evolution over the past decade of attitudes and practices of obstetricians in maternal-fetal medicine fellowship programs regarding the management of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected pregnant women. Methods: Directors of all 65 approved maternal-fetal medicine training programs were sent questionnaires, responses to which were to reflect the consensus among members of their faculties. Programs were stratified based upon the number of HIV-infected pregnant patients cared for in the previous year. Results: Responses reflect experience with over 1000 infected pregnant women per year, nearly one-quarter with advanced disease. Combination antiretroviral therapy was prescribed by all respondents, universally in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters. A three-drug regimen (often containing a protease inhibitor) was used more often by those who treated at least 20 HIV-infected pregnant patients per year than by those programs seeing a lower number of patients (80 vs 59%). Despite the known and unknown risks of the use of antiretrovirals during pregnancy, only half of all responding programs report adverse events to the Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry; reporting was more common among the institutions seeing a higher number of patients (61 vs 45%). Seventy-eight percent of higher volume programs enroll their patients in clinical studies, usually multicenter, versus 35% of lower volume programs. Conclusions: Care for HIV+ pregnant women has dramatically changed over the past decade. Antiretroviral therapy is now universally prescribed by physicians involved in maternal-fetal medicine training programs. Given limited experience with these agents in the setting of pregnancy, it is essential for maternal-fetal medicine practitioners to actively report on adverse events and participate in clinical trials.