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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology
Volume 2016, Article ID 2782786, 9 pages
Research Article

HIV Prophylaxis in High Risk Newborns: An Examination of Sociodemographic Factors in an Inner City Context

1St. Michael’s Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada M5B 1W8
2Department of Pediatrics, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON, Canada M5G 1X8
3Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 1A8
4Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada M5T 3M7
5Keenan Research Centre of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada M5B 1T8

Received 13 March 2015; Accepted 23 September 2015

Copyright © 2016 Zenita Alidina et al. 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.


Background. Perinatal HIV transmission is less than 1% with antiretroviral (ARV) prophylaxis. Transmission risk appears higher in “high risk” dyads, yet this is not well defined, possibly exposing more infants to combination ARV compared with standard care. Objective. To describe characteristics of mother-infant dyads where infants received ARVs and how these characteristics relate to specific ARV regimens. Methods. Retrospective chart review of ARV-receiving newborns at St. Michael’s Hospital from 2007 to 2012 (and their mothers). Numerical and categorical variables were analyzed using -tests/ANOVA -tests and Fisher’s exact tests, respectively. Results. Maternal HIV status at delivery was as follows: 69% positive and 24% unknown. Maternal factors significantly associated with newborn-triple therapy are Canadian origin, substance abuse, unstable housing, lost custody of previous children, and sex work. Neonatal factors are child protective services involvement, NICU, and lengthier admission. Maternal factors associated with monotherapy are African origin, HIV-positive, employment, and education. Further analysis based on maternal presentation at delivery demonstrated unequal distribution of many aforementioned factors. Discussion. This cohort revealed associations between particular factors and newborn-monotherapy or triple therapy that exist, suggesting that sociodemographic factors may influence the choice of ARV regimen. Canadian perinatal HIV transmission guidelines should qualify how to risk stratify newborns and consider use of rapid HIV antibody testing.