Timing of maternal-infant HIV transmission associations between intrapartum factors and early polymerase chain reaction results

Louise Kuhn, Elaine J. Abrams, Pamela B. Matheson, Pauline A. Thomas, Genevieve Lambert, Mahrukh Bamji, Barbara Greenberg, Richard W. Steketee, Donald M. Thea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Objective: To investigate the hypothesis that labour and delivery events, perinatal characteristics, and maternal factors are only associated with intrapartum HIV transmission, and not with intrauterine HIV transmission. Methods: In the New York City Perinatal HIV Transmission Collaborative Study 276 infants of HIV-infected women were followed prospectively and had results of early polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests available. Among infected children, intrauterine infection was presumed if HIV DNA was detected by PCR in samples collected from children aged ≤ 3 days, and intrapartum infection was presumed if HIV DNA was not detected in these early samples. The proportion of infants with presumed intrauterine and intrapartum infections were compared by selected intrapartum, perinatal and maternal characteristics. Results: Presumed intrapartum infection was found in 7% of infants delivered by Cesarean section and, among infants delivered vaginally, those with longer duration of membrane rupture (> 4 h) were significantly more likely to have presumed intrapartum HIV infection (22%) than those with shorter duration 19%; P = 0.02). There were no differences in presumed intrauterine HIV infection by mode of delivery or longer duration of membrane rupture. Infants born preterm and small for gestational age had significantly higher risks of presumed intrapartum infection, but only those who were small for gestational age had higher risks of intrauterine infection. Conclusion: Our results support the notion that selected intrapartum conditions, long duration of membrane rupture prior to delivery in particular, are independent risk factors for maternal-infant transmission, and suggest that preterm infants may be especially vulnerable to intrapartum HIV exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-435
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


  • Intrauterine growth retardation
  • Maternal-infant HIV transmission
  • Mode of delivery
  • Polymerase chain reaction
  • Preterm delivery
  • Rupture of membranes
  • Timing


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