HIV Risk Higher in Men When HIV-Infected Partner Gets Pregnant

A recent study conducted in Africa has revealed that a HIV-infected pregnant partner can add to the risk of the disease in the male partner.

The study, conducted by the University of Nairobi researchers in collaboration with Kenyatta National Hospital, was presented at 2010 International Microbicides Conference (M2010).

There were 1,085 males infected with HIV and 2,236 couples with the female partners infected.

Earlier studies claim that females are at high risk of getting infected with HIV at the time of pregnancy. However, there is a deep connection between the female’s pregnancy and a female to male transmission, said lead author Nelly Mugo, MD, University of Nairobi and the Kenyatta National Hospital.

A total of 3,321 couples were examined by the researchers for more than 2 years at 14 different units in 7 countries in southern and eastern Africa.

In 320 couples, pregnancy was determined wherein the males were tested positive for HIV-1. Nearly 503 females tested positive for HIV-1.

It was found that 17% of the pregnant women testing positive for the disease got infected during pregnancy while 21.1% of the males were infected while their respective partners became pregnant.

"We need to rethink our strategies. We need to think about more than the baby but also about the mums and the dads,” said Dr. Mugo.