HIV Increases Postpartum Risks
BY HIV Plus Editors
June 30 2004 12:00 AM ET
HIV-positive women face more complications after childbirth than HIV-negative women, including being at higher risk for anemia, postpartum fever, and puerperal fever linked with episiotomies, according to a study in the April 9 edition of the journal AIDS. Surveying medical records of HIV-positive and HIV-negative women delivering in 13 European hospitals, researchers found that postpartum complication rates were 29.2% for HIV-positive women and 19.4% for women who were uninfected.
Women who had cesarean sections had the highest risks for complications, but HIV-positive women who delivered vaginally were shown to be at a higher risk for postpartum problems than HIV-negative women who similarly delivered their babies.
The researchers conclude that 'HIV-infected pregnant women are at increased risk of postpartum complications regardless of mode of delivery, but modification of clinical practice, particularly the use of prophylactic antibiotics, would reduce this risk.'