Long term engagement in HIV care among postpartum women with perinatal HIV infection in the United States

AIDS Care. 2018 Apr;30(4):488-492. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2017.1417531. Epub 2017 Dec 18.


Despite growing literature on pregnancy in women with perinatally-acquired HIV infection (PHIV), little is known regarding HIV and reproductive health outcomes postpartum. We describe pregnancy, reproductive, and HIV care outcomes for 2 years postpartum among pregnant women with PHIV who delivered in a large urban health system in Atlanta, Georgia, USA from 2011-2016. We reviewed medical records of women with PHIV to estimate retention in HIV care (two HIV care visits or viral load measurements >90 days apart) and viral suppression (<200 copies/mL) at 12 and 24 months postpartum. Among 22 pregnant women with PHIV, 13 (59%) had a CD4 count of less than 300 cells/mm3 at the time of antenatal care entry; most (n = 13, 59%) women achieved viral suppression at time of delivery. Three quarters of women attended a postpartum HIV primary care visit, within an average of 193 (range 17-727) days. Only 4 (20%) women were retained and 3 (15%) virally suppressed at 12 postpartum, and 2 (12%) were retained and none virally suppressed at 24 months. Despite the unique challenges they face, multidisciplinary efforts are needed to engage women with PHIV during pregnancy and facilitate the transition to sustained HIV primary care in the postpartum period.

Keywords: Georgia, USA; HIV care continuum; perinatal HIV infection; postpartum.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • CD4 Lymphocyte Count
  • Female
  • Georgia
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV Infections / immunology
  • HIV Infections / transmission
  • Humans
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Postnatal Care
  • Postpartum Period
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / drug therapy*
  • Prenatal Care
  • Sustained Virologic Response*
  • Time Factors
  • Viral Load
  • Young Adult