Background: The mother-to-child transmission of HIV, which accounts for 90% of infections in children, has been reduced markedly through the use of antiretroviral drugs by pregnant women and their newborns. Changes to the World Health Organization guidelines support further extension of the prevention of mother-to-child transmission programs with increased risk of toxicity on the fetuses.
Aim: To determine the hematological indices at birth of infants exposed in utero to maternal antiretroviral drugs.
Method: A comparative analytical study of 126 neonates whose blood samples were analyzed to determine their hematological indices.
Result: The hemoglobin, hematocrit, the total white blood cell (WBC) count and absolute neutrophil count (ANC) were significantly lower in infants of HIV-positive mothers. The total WBC and ANC were also significantly lower in the highly active antiretroviral therapy. HAART group and those exposed to maternal drugs for <1 year.
Conclusion: There are significant changes in the hematological indices of infants of HIV-positive mothers at birth.