University of Oulu

Aho I, Kaijomaa M, Kivelä P, Surcel H-M, Sutinen J, Heikinheimo O, et al. (2018) Most women living with HIV can deliver vaginally—National data from Finland 1993–2013. PLoS ONE 13(3): e0194370.

Most women living with HIV can deliver vaginally — national data from Finland 1993–2013

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Author: Aho, Inka1; Kaijomaa, Marja2; Kivelä, Pia1;
Organizations: 1Department of Infectious diseases, Helsinki University Hospital and University of Helsinki
2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Helsinki University Hospital and University of Helsinki
3National Institute of Health and Welfare, Oulu and Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Public Library of Science, 2018
Publish Date: 2018-05-15


Introduction: Vaginal delivery has been recommended for more than ten years for women living with HIV (WLWH) with good virological control. However, in Europe most WLWH still deliver by cesarean section (CS). Our aim was to assess the rate of vaginal delivery and the indications for CS in WLWH over 20 years in a setting of low overall CS rate.

Materials and methods: This was a retrospective study of all WLWH delivering in Finland 1993–2013. We identified the women by combining national health registers and extracted data from patient files.

Results: The study comprised 212 women with 290 deliveries. Over 35% of the women delivered several children during the study years. During 2000–2013, with consistent viral load monitoring, 80.0% showed HIV viral loads <50 copies/mL in the last measurement preceding the delivery. Altogether 74.5% of all WLWH delivered vaginally and the rate of both elective CS and emergency CS was 12.8% each. For most CSs (63.5%) the indication was obstetrical, for 28.4% it was avoiding HIV transmission and for 0.7% it was mother’s request. In hospitals with less than ten HIV-related deliveries during the study period, the rate of elective CS was higher than in more experienced hospitals (22.7% versus 10.6% [p = 0.024]). No perinatal HIV transmissions occurred.

Conclusions: Most WLWH can achieve good virological control and deliver vaginally. This will help them to maintain their future child bearing potential and reduce CS-related morbidity.

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Members of the FINHIVPREG study team:

Inka Aho, Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki; Sanna Uusitalo, University of Oulu, Oulu; Taru Finnilä, Turku University Hospital, Turku; Hanna Viskari, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere; Pirjo Alho, Kanta-Häme Hospital District, Hämeenlinna; Sari Hämäläinen, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio; Tuomas Nieminen, Satakunta Central Hospital, Pori; Elina Kärnä, Seinäjoki Central Hospital, Seinäjoki; Ville Lehtinen, Päijät-Häme Central Hospital, Lahti; Maija Rummukainen, Central Finland Health Care District, Jyväskylä; Antti Väänänen, Lapland Central Hospital, Rovaniemi; Jukka Heikkinen, North Carelia Central Hospital, Joensuu; Risto Pietikäinen, Kymenlaakso Central Hospital, Kotka; Pekka Suomalainen, South Carelia Central Hospital, Lappeenranta; Sakari Vuorinen, Mikkeli Central Hospital, Mikkeli).
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Series: PLoS one
ISSN: 1932-6203
ISSN-E: 1932-6203
ISSN-L: 1932-6203
Volume: 13
Issue: 3
Article number: e0194370
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0194370
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3123 Gynaecology and paediatrics
Funding: IA has received non-restricted grants from the Finnish Medical Association and Infektiotautien tutkimusyhdistys.
Copyright information: ©2018 Aho et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.