Infectious Disease

COVID-19 Results in Being pregnant “Severe” in a Cohort of HIV-Optimistic South African Girls

March 10, 2021

1 min read

Source / information

Source:

de Waard L. et al. Abstract 171. Presented at: Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections; 6-10 March 2021 (virtual meeting).

Disclosure:
De Waard does not report any relevant financial information.

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The effects of COVID-19 in pregnancy were “severe” in a cohort of HIV-positive women in South Africa, researchers reported at the conference on retroviruses and opportunistic infections.

Lisel de Waard

However, no clinical differences have been attributed to HIV infection, “probably because they were largely virologically suppressed”. Liesl de Waard, MB ChB, An obstetrician and gynecologist at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, said Healio.

De Waard and colleagues analyzed data from pregnant women with COVID-19 in a hospital in Cape Town from May 1 to July 31, 2020 and documented the pregnancy and birth results by October 30.

In her talk, de Waard found that around 20% of all women who give birth in Cape Town hospitals live with HIV. However, she reported that less than 1% of pregnancies resulted in vertical transmission.

Out of 100 pregnant women, 28 had HIV. All 100 women had laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19. Frequently observed comorbidities were obesity, high blood pressure disorders and gestational diabetes, reported the authors.

Of the 28 pregnant women living with HIV, 27 received ART. Nineteen women were virologically suppressed.

Of the 100 women, 81 cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed in the third trimester, and half of the women delivered within 2 weeks of the onset of infection.

During the infection, 40 women developed pneumonia and 13 adult respiratory distress syndrome, while six required invasive ventilation. Eight deaths have been reported – seven from adult respiratory distress syndrome and one from advanced HIV disease with bacteremia.

“COVID-19 can lead to severe morbidity and mortality in women with certain high-risk conditions during pregnancy,” de Waard told Healio. “However, women with HIV who are on treatment and are virally suppressed are not at greater risk of mortality or serious illness.”

A total of 91 live births were reported, five stillbirths, four miscarriages, two mothers died with the fetus in the fetu, and there was one medical termination of pregnancy. Of the 91 live births, 90 newborns were fine, but one died from complications related to perinatal asphyxia.

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Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI)

Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI)

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