Perinatal transmission of HIV affects nearly 5,00,000 infants globally every year, most of them living in developing countries. The risk of transmission of HIV 1 virus from pregnant mother to baby has been reported to be between 21% and 43% in developing countries. This mandates the need for screening all antenatal women for prevention HIV transmission. This study was carried out to estimate the prevalence and outcome of HIV in pregnant mothers in rural Tamil Nadu.
Methods: All pregnant women attending ANC clinics during the study period were included in the study. A total of 5311 antenatal women participated in this cross sectional study. Routine investigations were carried out and HIV was analysed by two rapid tests and one Elisa test. Manufacturer protocol was followed. Seropositive samples were further confirmed by western blot technique. Those samples with reactivity to any key antigen were considered positive.
Results: Among 5311 antenatal women tested 26 of them were found to be seropositive for HIV. The seroprevalance rate of HIV is 0.49%. Most of the seropositive subjects belonged to the age group of 26-30 yrs (n=15) and were of parity one or two and belonged to low socioeconomic status (n= 20) and were illiterates. Among the patients, 11 had normal delivery and 8 of them had LSCS. All newborn were screened for HIV DNA PCR and was given nevirapine as single dose. PCR done on all these babies were negative.
Conclusion: As the period of pregnancy may be the only time available to screen women for HIV infection, and to prevent prenatal transmission routine prenatal counselling and testing is mandatory.