Pregnancy with HIV can change the dynamic of pregnancy and may be associated with negative pregnancy and fetal outcomes, including increased risk of fetal anemia and cord blood malaria parasitemia. Researchers in Ghana recently completed a study on a pool of more than 1,100 pregnant women looking for predictors for these fetal complications. The results of the study were published in BMC Research Notes.

Of the 1,154 study participants, 443 tested positive for HIV and 711 tested negative for HIV. Only 66% of the initial participants were followed for the duration of the study (post delivery). About 20% and 79% of HIV-positive women tested positive for maternal malaria parasitemia and anemia, respectively. Those numbers fell to 13% and 52% in the HIV-negative population. Infants born to the 66% of women in the follow-up tested positive for anemia and cord parasitemia at rates of 57% and 24%, respectively.

Results: HIV did not directly impact the prevalence of fetal anemia or cord blood malaria parasitemia, but it did affect maternal infection and maternal infection affected fetal infection. Strong focus needs to be placed on preventing malaria infection in the pregnant population of affected nations.

Source: Laar AK, Grant FE, Addo Y, Soyiri I, Nkansah B, Abugri J, Laar AS, Ampofo WK, Tuakli JM, Quakyi IA. Predictors of fetal anemia and cord blood malaria parasitemia among newborns of HIV-positive mothers. BMC Res Notes. 2013 Sep 3;6(1):350.