Treating women who are pregnant and living with HIV has always been challenging for researchers. Given that pregnancy alters a person’s physiological makeup, it can significantly reduce maternal drug plasma concentration, which is the driving force for a fetus to absorb drugs.
According to a study published in the Journal of Medical Case Reports, researchers examined the case of a 26-year-old pregnant woman living with HIV who had an unusually low concentration of maternal drug plasma — even when doctors intensified HIV treatment.
The unnamed woman became pregnant several months after she was diagnosed with HIV. After one month of pregnancy, her viral load was still detectable (53 copies/mL). Even when doctors continued to intensify her treatment regimen, the woman remained detectable and never attained viral load undetectability on follow-ups. Regardless, the mother gave birth to a healthy baby via cesarean, which was recommended by physicians.
Ten weeks later, the woman’s treatment was de-intensified and her T cells rose back up. The baby’s T and B cells were normal and HIV was undetectable. As of press time, the baby remains HIV-free.
Given that physiological changes can reduce a mother’s bioavaiability of ARTs, researchers recommend that pregnant women living with HIV receive more personalized treatment and careful follow-ups.