Objectives -To compare the effects of maternal HIV-1 and HIV-2 infections on outcome of pregnancy, infant mortality, and child survival, and to measure serological concordance between mothers and children.
Design -Retrospective cohort study with cross sectional study of concordance for HIV antibodies.
Setting -Hospital, tuberculosis clinic, and maternal and child health centre in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, west Africa.
Subjects -986 women who had had a total of 2,758 pregnancies since 1980. The last born children of 194 of these women.
Main outcome measures -Pregnancy outcomes; mortality for all children born since 1980; and outcome for last born children. Serological concordance between mothers and last born children.
Results -Women with HIV-1 and HIV-2 infections had higher rates of spontaneous abortion and stillbirth than uninfected women (86/769 in HIV-1 positive women, 48/421 in HIV-2 positive, 31/234 in dually reactive, and 96/1,131 in uninfected). Compared with children born to uninfected mothers (mortality 10.3%), greater proportions of children of HIV-1 positive (20.6%) and dually reactive (20.3%) mothers had died; mortality in children of HIV-2 infected women (13.1%) was not significantly increased. Infant mortalities for the last born children of HIV-1 positive, dually reactive, HIV-2 positive, and seronegative women were, respectively, 133, 82, 32, and 40 per 1,000 live births. Nine of 77 last born children of HIV-1 positive mothers were concordantly seropositive compared with none of 21 children of HIV-2 infected mothers.
Conclusions -Maternal HIV-2 infection has less influence on child survival than infection with HIV-1, probably because of a lower vertical transmission rate.