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Cahiers d'études et de recherches francophones / Santé

Maternofetal transmission of HIV: experience at the Hôpital Sainte-Justine, Montreal Volume 1, issue 5, Décembre 1991

Although the prevalence of HIV infection among women of childbearing age is increasing worldwide, little is known about the gender-specific aspects of HIV disease in women, and, in particular, of the impact of HIV infection on clinical and immunological parameters during pregnancy. For reasons which remain unclear the major prospective studies of pregnant women have reported varying rates of maternal-foetal transmission. We present findings from our study at Hôpital Sainte-Justine, Montreal within the context of a discussion of the current hypotheses concerning the risk of maternal-foetal transmission, the role of the placenta, and the implications of breastfeeding. The latest available techniques for the neonatal diagnosis of HIV infection are described with emphasis on their relevance to our understanding of paediatric HIV disease.