Objectives - To document policies regarding the use of interventions to reduce risk of vertical transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and assess the extent of changes since 1994. Design - A postal questionnaire survey and data from the European Collaborative Study (ECS), a prospective multi-centre cohort study. Setting - Fifty-four obstetric centres in 16 European countries. Sample - A questionnaire response from 54 obstetricians; 669 deliveries to HIV-infected women enrolled in the ECS from 1994 to 1997. Main outcome measures - Use of zidovudine during pregnancy, at delivery and to the neonate; caesarean section delivery rates; vaginal lavage; avoidance of breastfeeding; vertical transmission rate. Results - Zidovudine therapy to reduce vertical transmission is now widespread in Europe and routine in all but one centre surveyed, although regimens vary. In 11 (26%) centres elective caesarean section is offered to-all HIV-infected women and a further nine (21%) have a policy of routine vaginal lavage. In all centres HIV-infected women are advised to avoid breastfeeding. In the ECS there has been a significant temporal decline in the vertical transmission rate with an increase in zidovudine use. More than 90% of women in the ECS who were delivered in 1997 received one or more components of zidovudine therapy; the rate of vertical transmission is 9% where zidovudine has been used, compared with 15% without use of zidovudine. Conclusions - Although the use of zidovudine to reduce vertical transmission is increasing in Europe and, with the avoidance of breastfeeding, is associated with a decline in vertical transmission, the success of these interventions will be limited by the uptake of antenatal screening.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology|
|Publication status||Published - 1998|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology