The impact of maternal highly active antiretroviral therapy and short-course combination antiretrovirals for prevention of mother-to-child transmission on early infant infection rates at the Mulago national referral hospital in Kampala, Uganda, January 2007 to May 2009.
Early HIV infant diagnosis and treatment have been shown to dramatically improve survival in infants. Despite these findings, infants accessing HIV diagnosis and treatment remain low in Uganda. We describe the antiretroviral (ARV) drugs given in the Mulago Hospital prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) program from January 2007 to May 2009 and its impact on early infant HIV infection rates.
Pregnant women identified as HIV infected in the Mulago antenatal clinics received one of the following regimens: short-course ARV prophylaxis plus single-dose nevirapine (sdNVP) in labor, highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), or sdNVP if they presented in labor. Infants received sdNVP and zidovudine (ZDV) for 1 week. Infants HIV diagnosis was done from 6 weeks after delivery.
62.3% of HIV-infected women received combination ARVs, including HAART. Early infection rates were highest among infants with no maternal ARV [36.4; 95% confidence interval (CI): 17.2 to 59.3] or only sdNVP (11.2; 95% CI: 8.1 to 14.8). Similar rates were observed for the group that took short-course ARVs, ZDV/sdNVP (4.6; 95% CI: 3.2 to 6.4), and ZDV/lamivudine/sdNVP (4.9; 95% CI: 3.1 to 7.2) and lowest rates for those that took HAART (1.7: 95% CI: 0.8 to 2.8). Overall infection rate was 5.0% (95% CI: 4.1 to 5.9).
Findings indicate low rates of infant infection for mothers receiving combination ARVs. These findings demonstrate that provision of combination ARV for PMTCT is feasible and effective in busy referral hospital's PMTCT programs in resource-limited settings.