Population-Level Benefits from Providing Effective HIV Prevention Means to Pregnant Women in High Prevalence Settings

Academic Article


  • Background:HIV prevalence among pregnant women in Southern Africa is extremely high. Epidemiological studies suggest that pregnancy increases the risk of HIV sexual acquisition and that HIV infections acquired during pregnancy carry higher risk of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT). We analyze the potential benefits from extending the availability of effective microbicide to pregnant women (in addition to non-pregnant women) in a wide-scale intervention.Methods and Findings:A transmission dynamic model was designed to assess the impact of microbicide use in high HIV prevalence settings and to estimate proportions of new HIV infections, infections acquired during pregnancy, and MTCT prevented over 10 years. Our analysis suggests that consistent use of microbicide with 70% efficacy by 60% of non-pregnant women may prevent approximately 40% and 15% of new infections in women and men respectively over 10 years, assuming no additional increase in HIV risk to either partner during pregnancy (RRHIV/preg = 1). It may also prevent 8-15% MTCT depending on the increase in MTCT risk when HIV is acquired during pregnancy compared to before pregnancy (RRMTCT/preg). Extending the microbicides use during pregnancy may improve the effectiveness of the intervention by 10% (RRHIV/preg = 1) to 25% (RRHIV/preg = 2) and reduce the number of HIV infections acquired during pregnancy by 40% to 70% in different scenarios. It may add between 6% (RRHIV/preg = 1, RRMTCT/preg = 1) and 25% (RRHIV/preg = 2, RRMTCT/preg = 4) to the reduction in the residual MTCT.Conclusion:Providing safe and effective microbicide to pregnant women in the context of wide-scale interventions would be desirable as it would increase the effectiveness of the intervention and significantly reduce the number of HIV infections acquired during pregnancy. The projected benefits from covering pregnant women by the HIV prevention programs is more substantial in communities in which the sexual risk during pregnancy is elevated. © 2013 Dimitrov et al.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • PLoS ONE  Journal
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    Author List

  • Dimitrov D; Boily MC; Marrazzo J; Beigi R; Brown ER
  • Volume

  • 8
  • Issue

  • 9