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HIV Increases Postpartum Risks

HIV Increases Postpartum Risks


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.'

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