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May 15, 1996

Zidovudine Use to Reduce Perinatal HIV Type 1 Transmission in an Urban Medical Center

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Pediatric Infectious Disease (Drs Wiznia and Lambert, Mr Sansary, and Ms Harris), and the Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology (Ms Crane and Dr Solomon), Bronx (NY) Lebanon Hospital Center; and the Departments of Pediatrics (Drs Wiznia and Lambert) and Obstetrics/Gynecology (Ms Crane and Dr Solomon), Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY.

JAMA. 1996;275(19):1504-1506. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530430048038

Objective.  —To evaluate whether zidovudine treatment was accepted and used by pregnant women subsequent to the release of the results of a multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled trial (AIDS Clinical Trial Group [ACTG] Protocol 076) that showed that zidovudine significantly reduced maternal-infant human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 transmission.

Design.  —Prospective study.

Setting.  —A community hospital with an integrated, multidisciplinary HIV-dedicated program located in an impoverished, HIV-endemic urban setting.

Participants.  —All HIV-infected pregnant women identified after the release of the ACTG 076 results who were offered zidovudine therapy to reduce maternal-infant transmission.

Results.  —Only 49 of the 125 HIV-infected pregnant women delivering at our site during this study period were identified prenatally. Perinatal zidovudine therapy was chosen by 37 (75%) of 49 women. Women refusing zidovudine were more likely to report injection drug use as their HIV risk factor and to continue to use drugs during their pregnancy. Of women choosing zidovudine and delivering, 24 of 36 received all components of their elected therapy. The intrapartum dose was missed by 12 women, 4 of whom also missed their prescribed prenatal oral therapy. Lack of adherence to chosen therapy was associated with continued cocaine use during pregnancy.

Conclusions.  —Zidovudine therapy to interrupt vertical transmission of HIV was not widely used by these HIV-infected pregnant women. Further studies evaluating factors affecting the acceptance and use of recently published public health recommendations are needed.(JAMA. 1996;275:1504-1506)