Increased vertical transmission of human immunodeficiency virus from hepatitis C virus-coinfected mothers

Ronald C. Hershow, Katherine A. Riester, Judy Lew, Thomas C. Quinn, Lynne M. Mofenson, Katherine Davenny, Sheldon Landesman, Deborah Cotton, I. Celine Hanson, George V. Hillyer, Hope Babette Tang, David L. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To determine if hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection affects vertical transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), 487 HIV-infected pregnant women in the prospective, multicenter, Women and Infants Transmission Study had HCV antibody (anti-HCV by second-generation ELISA) and HCV RNA (by quantitative polymerase chain reaction) measured in peripartum maternal plasma; 161 (33%) were anti-HCV-positive. HIV vertical transmission occurred from 42 HCV-infected mothers (26.1%) versus 53 HCV-uninfected mothers (16.3%; odds radio [OR], 1.82; P = .01). In a logistic regression model that included maternal drug use, a potential confounder, HCV infection was marginally associated with perinatal HIV transmission (OR, 1.64; P = .05), whereas drug use was not. Women who transmitted HIV had higher levels of HCV RNA (median, 721,254 copies/mL) than those who did not (337,561 copies/mL; P = .01). Maternal HCV infection is associated with increased HIV vertical transmission. Further studies are needed to ascertain if HCV directly affects perinatal HIV transmission or is a marker for another factor, such as maternal drug use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)414-420
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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