Perinatal Transmission Higher in Women with Incident HIV

A meta-analysis done by researchers in Washington found that the pooled perinatal transmission rate was 22.7% among pregnant and postpartum women worldwide with incident HIV, which is 2.8-fold higher than women with chronic HIV infection.  This is significant for the prevention of perinatal transmission as it underlines the need for repeat HIV testing in high prevalence settings to capture incident (or early) HIV infection.  Also more sensitive tests, such as the fourth generation combo tests, can detect incident infection earlier than traditional antibody testing, allowing for earlier intervention to prevent perinatal transmission.


Drake AL, Wagner A, Richardson B, John-Stewart G. Incident HIV during pregnancy and postpartum and risk of mother-to-child HIV transmission: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS Med. 2014 Feb 25;11(2)e1001608.


Original Article