PITTSBURGH, May 25 (UPI) — Researchers in Africa found men doubled their risk of HIV if their partner is pregnant and infected with human immunodeficiency virus.
Researchers in Botswana, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia — led by Dr. Nelly Mugo of the University of Nairobi and Seattle’s University of Washington — looked at how pregnancy may affect transmission of HIV, the virus that causes the disease condition AIDS.
The researchers found a man in a relationship with an HIV-positive woman has a greater chance of becoming infected while she is pregnant than when she is not. Even after accounting for other factors that usually contribute to HIV risk, the increased risk associated with pregnancy remained.
Mugo suggests biological changes during pregnancy may make women more infectious than they would be otherwise.
The researchers looked at 3,321 couples — 1,085 in which the male was infected and 2,236 in which the female was infected. During the two years the couples were tracked, 823 pregnancies took place.
The study findings were presented at the International Microbicides Conference in Pittsburgh.
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