Cotransmission of Malaria and HIV to Infants of Mothers Coinfected With Malaria and HIV in the HAART Era in Benin City, Nigeria


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Abstract

Introduction:Malaria and HIV are vertically transmitted to infants. In an era where specific interventions are available to reduce the burden of malaria in pregnancy and vertical transmission of HIV, we examined the transmission and cotransmission of HIV and malaria to infants of mothers coinfected with malaria and HIV.Methods:A cross-sectional analytic study performed on 101 HIV/malaria–coinfected mothers and their infants for whom DNA polymerase chain reaction results were available. Blood film for malaria parasites was performed on cord blood and peripheral blood on days 1, 3, and 7 in the newborns. Maternal peripheral blood film for malaria parasite was performed at delivery, and placental tissue was obtained for confirmation of placental malaria by histology. All infants received DNA polymerase chain reaction testing for HIV at 6–8 weeks of life.Results:Cotransmission of malaria and HIV occurred in 2 (1.98%) infants. Vertical transmission of HIV occurred in 7 (7%) babies, whereas congenital malaria was present in 32 (31.7%) babies. The transmission of HIV and presence of congenital malaria were not significantly associated with each other P = 1.000. Of the 88 babies of mothers who commenced highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART) before pregnancy, 5 (5.7^) had HIV, which was significantly less than 2 (40%) of 5 babies of mothers who commenced HAART during pregnancy P = 0.04.Conclusions:Among mothers coinfected with malaria and HIV, vertical transmission of malaria and HIV was not associated with each other. HAART reduces vertical transmission of HIV especially if started before pregnancy.

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