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Therapy Does Not Cause Congenital Abnormalities

Therapy Does Not Cause Congenital Abnormalities


The use of highly active antiretroviral therapy by pregnant HIV-positive women does not cause congenital abnormalities in the women's infants, but the anti-HIV drugs were linked with a likelihood of premature delivery, according to the results of a 14-year survey presented at the Seventh International Congress on Drug Therapy in HIV Infection. The study, conducted by U.K. and Irish researchers, examined more than 3,800 HIV-positive women and their infants from 1990 to 2003. Since 2001, when triple-drug therapy became commonplace, 13% of the deliveries were premature, coming before 37 weeks of gestation (the normal average is 40 weeks or more). HIV-positive pregnant women on combination therapy were found to be 1.47 times more likely to deliver early, according to the study. But congenital abnormalities were seen in only about 3% of the babies, about the same rate as seen in the general population.

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