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OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to describe pregnancies in HIV-infected teenagers. METHODS: A review of the case notes of HIV-infected pregnant teenagers aged 13-19 years from 12 London hospitals was carried out for the period 2000-2007. RESULTS: There were 67 pregnancies in 58 young women, of whom one was known to have acquired HIV vertically. The overall mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) rate of HIV was 1.5% (one of 66). There were 66 live births. Median ages at HIV diagnosis and conception were 17 and 18 years, respectively. Sixty-three per cent of women were diagnosed with HIV infection through routine antenatal screening. Eighty-two per cent of pregnancies (41 of 50) were unplanned, with 65% of women (26 of 40) using no contraception. Forty-three per cent of the women (20 of 46) had a past history of a sexually transmitted infection (STI). In 63 pregnancies, antiretroviral therapy was started post-conception, with prevention of HIV MTCT the only indication in 81% of cases. Fifty-eight per cent of those on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) had an undetectable HIV viral load by delivery. Eighty-seven per cent were uncomplicated pregnancies. Seventy-one per cent delivered by Caesarean section and 21% (14 of 64) had a preterm delivery (<37 weeks). In the 12 months after delivery, 45% of women received contraceptive advice and 25% of women became pregnant again. CONCLUSION: Obstetric and virological outcomes were favourable in this group of HIV-infected young women. However, the majority of pregnancies were unplanned with poor documentation of contraception use and advice and low rates of STI screening. A quarter of women conceived again within 12 months of delivery. Effective measures to reduce STIs, unplanned pregnancies and onward HIV transmission in HIV-infected teenagers are needed.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





118 - 123


Abortion, Induced, Adolescent, Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active, CD4 Lymphocyte Count, Delivery, Obstetric, Female, HIV Infections, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Humans, Infant, Newborn, Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical, Life Expectancy, London, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Complications, Infectious, Pregnancy Outcome, Prospective Studies, Young Adult