Pregnancy is not associated with the progression of HIV disease in women attending an HIV outpatient program

Ruth Bessinger, Rebecca Clark, Patricia Kissinger, Janet Rice, Steven Coughlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to determine whether pregnancy is associated with an acceleration of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease progression in women who have a pregnancy while HIV infected. A retrospective review of all woman aged 15-35 years who attended an HIV outpatient program from January 1989 through August 1995, was undertaken. The 192 women who had a term pregnancy after testing positive for HIV were compared with 164 women who were not pregnant during the same period. The main outcome measures were death, the occurrence of a first acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)- defining condition, or a condition indicative of symptomatic HIV. Disease progression was assessed using the Kaplan-Meier method and multivariate proportional hazards models. Compared with nonpregnant women, women with a term pregnancy were significantly more likely to be African-American (88% vs. 78%, p < 0.05), younger than 22 years of age (51% vs. 11%, p < 0.001), and to have entered the clinic with a higher median CD4 count (519 vs. 433 cells/μl, p < 0.001). After adjusting for entry CD4 count and other factors, pregnancy was not associated with progression to any of the study outcomes. Thus, in women attending a publicly funded clinic, pregnancy does not appear to accelerate the progression of HIV disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)434-440
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
  • Blacks
  • Disease progression
  • HIV
  • Pregnancy
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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