Despite the proven efficacy of zidovudine in PMTCT, particularly in the pre-cART era , there are no data to support routinely switching to zidovudine, or adding zidovudine to a combination of ARVs that is suppressing HIV replication to less than 50 HIV RNA copies/mL plasma. Analysis of data combined from two observational studies, the European Collaborative Study (ECS) and the UK and Ireland NSHPC, has shown
no difference in pregnancy outcomes between zidovudine-based and zidovudine-sparing cART . Risk of PMTCT is determined by maternal viral load, whether selleckchem antiretroviral therapy is taken in pregnancy and the time on therapy prior to delivery. With regard to the latter, therapy for more than 14 days is associated with significantly lower transmission rates than shorter periods . Data from the French cohort, confirm very low transmission rates in mothers who have conceived on treatment (0%; 95% CI 0–0.3% LDE225 if viral load less than 50 HIV RNA copies/mL at delivery) . However, as newer therapies become established, the degree of transplacental transfer of the components of combination therapy should be considered. While ritonavir-boosted protease inhibitor therapy can maintain suppression of viral load, PMTCT would be almost entirely dependent on antiviral activity within the mother. With minimal transplacental
transfer, the low to undetectable drug concentrations in the fetus provide no peri-exposure protection. In PHPT-5, the addition of ritonavir-boosted lopinavir to zidovudine monotherapy from 28 weeks’ gestation was no better than maternal zidovudine with or without single-dose nevirapine provided neonatal nevirapine was administered . The Writing Group therefore recommends that, where possible, patients who conceive on protease inhibitor monotherapy should have their regimen intensified with an agent that crosses the placenta. Didanosine administered with stavudine
is contraindicated in pregnancy due to the risk of maternal lactic acidosis . 5.2.1 Women requiring ART for their own health should commence treatment as soon as possible as per BHIVA guidelines for the treatment of HIV-1 positive adults with antiretroviral therapy 2012 (www.bhiva.org/Guidelines.aspx). Megestrol Acetate Grading: 1A When considering the optimal time to start cART, the theoretical considerations for avoiding medication during pregnancy, and the first trimester in particular, must be considered in the light of the increasing safety data on first-trimester exposure to ART, the risk to maternal health (and fetal exposure to opportunistic infections), the risk of MTCT and the time required to achieve an undetectable viral load by the time of delivery. Where the mother is at risk of, or has presented with an opportunistic infection, initiation of cART should not be delayed because of pregnancy.