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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology
Volume 24, Issue 3, Pages e91-e95
Case Report

Amniocentesis in the HIV-Infected Pregnant Woman: Is There Still Cause for Concern in the Era of Combination Antiretroviral Therapy?

Nisha Andany,1 Michelle Letchumanan,2 Lise Bondy,1 Kellie Murphy,3 and Mona R Loutfy1,4

1Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Canada
3Women’s College Research Institute, Women and HIV Research Program, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
4Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Copyright © 2013 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The current standard of care in Canadian obstetrical practice is to offer pregnant women the opportunity for prenatal investigation to diagnose congenital abnormalities. Prenatal amniocentesis is Canada’s most commonly practiced invasive procedure for the diagnosis of chromosomal and single gene disorders. The potential risk of intrapartum HIV transmission during amniocentesis raises several ethical concerns and limits the availability of prenatal genetic testing for HIV-positive pregnant women. Complete virological suppression with antiretroviral therapy may alleviate the risk of mother-to-child transmission during amniocentesis and increase accessibility of this important diagnostic tool in the HIV-positive population. The present report describes a case involving a 32-year-old HIV-positive pregnant woman whose plasma viral load was undetectable on antiretroviral therapy; she underwent successful prenatal amniocentesis without transmission of HIV to her infant.