Malnutrition decreases effectiveness of HIV treatment in pregnant African women

February 18, 2014, Wiley

In Uganda the prescription of three antiretroviral (ARV) drugs, which aim to suppress the virus to prevent disease progression, have resulted in huge reductions in HIV mortality rates. However, disease is not the only scourge in Uganda, and a new study in The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology explores the impact food insecurity may have on treating pregnant women.

A U.S-Ugandan research team explored the affect pregnancy and malnutrition can have on the administration of lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV/r) and efavirenz (EFV) drugs among HIV-infected women in Tororo, Uganda.

Blood and hair samples from 221 women were analyzed, revealing that 80% of patients were malnourished and 26% lost weight during their pregnancy. Average (median) Body Mass Index was found to be only 20.2 kg/m2.

The team found that, compared to well-nourished patients, drug exposure was reduced in these patients (LPV −33%, EFV −15%, ritonavir −17%).

"This study in 221 pregnant and breastfeeding HIV-infected women with severe food insecurity in Uganda showed that food insecurity influences exposure parameters to antiretroviral treatment," said Dr. Imke Bartelink. "Compared to previously published data from well-nourished women, food insecurity is associated with decreases in antiretroviral exposure ranging from 15% to 41% in this group of pregnant and breastfeeding women, irrespective of pregnancy status."

Explore further: Antiretroviral treatment for HIV reduces food insecurity

More information: Imke H. Bartelink, Rada M. Savic, Julia Mwesigwa, Jane Achan, Tamara Clark, Albert Plenty, Edwin Charlebois, Moses Kamya, Sera L. Young, Monica Gandhi, Diane Havlir, Deborah Cohan, Francesca Aweeka, "Pharmacokinetics of lopinavir/ritonavir and efavirenz in food insecure HIV-infected pregnant and breastfeeding women in tororo, Uganda" The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, DOI: 10.1002/jcph.167

Related Stories

Antiretroviral treatment for HIV reduces food insecurity

December 4, 2012
Can treatment with modern anti-HIV drugs help fight hunger for HIV-infected patients in Africa? Starting antiretroviral therapy for HIV reduces "food insecurity" among patients in Uganda, suggests a study published online ...

HIV-infected women susceptible to malnutrition during pregnancy, even with good antiretrovirol care

September 10, 2012
Malnutrition is common among HIV-infected pregnant women even when they receive antiretroviral therapy, leading to low birth weight and other health problems in their infants, according to a recent study conducted by a Cornell ...

Hair samples from infants show exposure to anti-HIV drugs in the womb and during breast-feeding

July 21, 2012
Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Makerere University in Uganda have used hair and blood samples from three-month old infants born to HIV-positive mothers to measure the uninfected babies' ...

Intensive dialysis in pregnant women with kidney failure benefits mother and baby

February 13, 2014
Intensive dialysis treatments in pregnant women with kidney failure lead to a higher proportion of live births than standard dialysis care, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American ...

Starting antiretroviral therapy improves HIV-infected Africans' nutrition

October 2, 2012
Starting HIV-infected patients on antiretroviral therapy reduces food insecurity and improves physical health, thereby contributing to the disruption of a lethal syndemic, UCSF and Massachusetts General Hospital researchers ...

Recommended for you

Researchers find latent HIV reservoirs inherently resistant to elimination by CD8+ T-cells

January 22, 2018
The latest "kick-and-kill" research to eliminate the HIV virus uncovered a potential obstacle in finding a cure. A recent study by researchers at the George Washington University (GW) found that latent HIV reservoirs show ...

HIV-1 genetic diversity is higher in vaginal tract than in blood during early infection

January 18, 2018
A first-of-its-kind study has found that the genetic diversity of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is higher in the vaginal tract than in the blood stream during early infection. This finding, published in PLOS ...

War in Ukraine has escalated HIV spread in the country: study

January 15, 2018
Conflict in Ukraine has increased the risk of HIV outbreaks throughout the country as displaced HIV-infected people move from war-affected regions to areas with higher risk of transmission, according to analysis by scientists.

Researchers offer new model for uncovering true HIV mortality rates in Zambia

January 12, 2018
A new study that seeks to better ascertain HIV mortality rates in Zambia could provide a model for improved national and regional surveillance approaches, and ultimately, more effective HIV treatment strategies.

New drug capsule may allow weekly HIV treatment

January 9, 2018
Researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women's Hospital have developed a capsule that can deliver a week's worth of HIV drugs in a single dose. This advance could make it much easier for patients to adhere to the strict schedule ...

New long-acting, less-toxic HIV drug suppresses virus in humanized mice

January 8, 2018
A team of Yale researchers tested a new chemical compound that suppresses HIV, protects immune cells, and remains effective for weeks with a single dose. In animal experiments, the compound proved to be a promising new candidate ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.