Sociodemographic characteristics of children born to HIV-infected mothers in Western French Guiana

J Infect Public Health. 2023 Jun;16(6):870-876. doi: 10.1016/j.jiph.2023.03.027. Epub 2023 Mar 29.


Background: French Guiana is the French department most affected by HIV. The situation in Western French Guiana is complicated by the transborder context and isolation of many patients. This study aims to describe the epidemiological characteristics of children born to mothers living with HIV followed in Western French Guiana.

Methods: This was a retrospective and descriptive study. All children born to HIV-infected mothers between 2014 and 2018 were included. Data were collected using a survey sheet to generate an Excel database.

Results: We recorded 177 newborns exposed to maternal HIV, four of whom (2.26 %) were infected. The majority of women (87 %) were of foreign origin, and only 7 % had conventional health insurance coverage. The infection was discovered during pregnancy in 20 % of women. Overall 21.71 % of newborns were preterm and 22.5 % hypotrophic. All neonates had received antiretroviral prophylaxis for four weeks, either as monotherapy (AZT) (67.43 %) or triple therapy (AZT/3TC/NVP) (25.71 %). Twenty-two neonates had at least one neonatal illness: transient respiratory distress (9 cases), asphyxia (3 cases), hyaline membrane disease (8 cases), and there were two cases with birth defects: clubfoot (1 case) and heart disease (1 case). The follow-up rate at 24 months was 65 % and 35 % of cases were lost to follow-up. The most common biological anomalies were anemia (69.14 %), hyperlacticaemia (23 %), and neutropenia (9.14 %).

Conclusion: The prevalence of mother-to child transmission of HIV was high; a quarter of maternal infections were discovered during pregnancy. The mother's socio-economic situation was often precarious and follow-up interruptions common.

Keywords: Foreign origin; High prevalence; Mother-to-child transmission of HIV; Precariousness; Western French Guiana.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Female
  • French Guiana / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections* / complications
  • HIV Infections* / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical / prevention & control
  • Mothers
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious* / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies