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HIV suppression at parturition is beneficial for maternal, fetal and public health. To eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV, an understanding of missed opportunities for antiretroviral therapy (ART) use during pregnancy and HIV suppression at delivery is required.


We performed a retrospective analysis of 836 mother-to-child pairs involving 656 HIV-infected women in Philadelphia, 2005-2013. Multivariable regression examined associations between patient (age, race/ethnicity, insurance status, drug use) and clinical factors such as adequacy of prenatal care measured by the Kessner index which classifies prenatal care as inadequate, intermediate, or adequate prenatal care; timing of HIV diagnosis; and the outcomes: receipt of ART during pregnancy and viral suppression at delivery.


Overall, 25% of the sample was diagnosed with HIV during pregnancy; 39%, 38%, and 23% were adequately, intermediately, and inadequately engaged in prenatal care. Eight-five percent of mother-to-child pairs received ART during pregnancy but only 52% achieved suppression at delivery. Adjusting for patient factors, pairs diagnosed with HIV during pregnancy were less likely to receive ART (AOR 0.39, 95% CI 0.25-0.61) and achieve viral suppression (AOR 0.70, 95% CI 0.49-1.00) than those diagnosed before pregnancy. Similarly, women with inadequate prenatal care were less likely to receive ART (AOR 0.06, 95% CI 0.03-0.11) and achieve viral suppression (AOR 0.31, 95% CI 0.20-0.47) than those with adequate prenatal care.


Targeted interventions to diagnose HIV prior to pregnancy and engage HIV-infected women in prenatal care have the potential to improve HIV related outcomes in the perinatal period.

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Open Access Journal Article

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Open Access


This is an open access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.