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Anti-HIV Meds Can Boost Pregnancy Risks

Anti-HIV Meds Can Boost Pregnancy Risks


Spanish researchers reported in July that the use of antiretroviral drugs by HIV-positive pregnant women boosts the risks of pregnancy-related high blood pressure'a condition known as preeclampsia'and fetal death. The risks were seen highest among women taking medications the longest. An analysis of patient records shows that rates of preeclampsia rose from zero prior to the highly active antiretroviral therapy era to about 6.6% from 1998 to 2003, just after triple-drug therapy became available. Fetal death risks also climbed significantly. Rates of risk for both conditions rose for each month the mother took anti-HIV medications prior to pregnancy. HAART still should be used in pregnant women because the benefits outweigh the risks, the researchers concluded, but they recommend watching closely for signs of elevated blood pressure.

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