The changing HIV epidemic in Italian pregnant women

S. Fiore, A. E. Semprini, M. Ravizza, A. Bucceri, M. L. Muggiasca, B. Guerra, A. Spinillo, G. Pardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To describe changes in the characteristics of HIV-pregnant women in Italy and the impact of strategies for prevention of HIV vertical transmission. Study design: Since 1985, HIV-infected women and their children are followed in 23 European centres in the European Collaborative Study (ECS), according to a standard protocol. Eight Italian Obstetric units participating in the ECS enrolled 815 patients. Results: Overall use of zidovudine to reduce HIV vertical transmission has increased significantly since 1994 and between 1995 and 1997, 57% of Italian women were treated. However, 27% of babies received the infant component of the 076 regimen. Over the years, age at delivery has increased and their CD4 count at delivery decreased, most likely reflecting heterosexually infected women with a longer duration of infection. The increasing rate of elective caesarean section (42%) is not related to maternal, foetal or obstetrical indications, but its use as an intervention to reduce HIV vertical transmission. Conclusions: The identification of HIV-infected women during pregnancy or before delivery ensures the appropriate management of the woman and her child, and clinicians should be aware of the increasing number of women with heterosexual acquisition of HIV-infection who may be less easily identified. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-153
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2000


  • HIV
  • Italy
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Reproductive Medicine


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