Blind serosurvey of HIV antibodies in newborns in 92 Italian hospitals: a method for monitoring the infection rate in women at time of delivery
In Italy, 17.7 percentage of reported AIDS cases occur in women, which is greater than the average percentage for Europe in general (11.5 percent) or the United States (8.5 percent). Approximately 76 percent of AIDS cases in women have been acquired through intravenous drug use. In Italy, intravenous drug use is the source of infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in 67 percent of the reported cases of AIDS. The infection of women with HIV indicates that the virus will spread to the general population through heterosexual contact and that children will also be infected. If a mother is infected with HIV and has antibodies against the virus, it is likely that the antibodies will be passed, along with the possibility of the virus, to a fetus in utero. Therefore, the incidence of infection in women can be monitored by testing newborns for antibodies against HIV. This type of screen will provide unbiased, unselected data on the incidence of AIDS in women and will also allow prediction of the rate of AIDS among children. Samples from 39,102 newborns born in 92 hospitals from eight different regions in Italy from June 1988 through April 1989, were screened for antibodies against HIV. One test, an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), was used for the initial screening and the positive results were confirmed using a more specific test, the Western blot. Fifty-one samples were found to be positive (0.013 percent). The prevalence of disease was related to geographical location, with higher rates in urban and industrialized areas. These data should provide information that can be used to plan for and allocate money for health care. (Consumer Summary produced by Reliance Medical Information, Inc.)
Publication Name: Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Temporal and geographical trends of anti-HIV-1 antibodies screening among newborns in Italy, 1990-1993
Testing newborn babies for HIV may be an accurate way to determine how many women of childbearing age are HIV-positive. Researchers estimated the prevalence of HIV infection in Italian women by testing blood samples taken from 555,722 newborn infants in Italy between 1990 and 1993. A total of 550 tested positive. HIV prevalence varied depending on the region. Nine of the 20 regions had HIV prevalence rates less than 0.05% and two had HIV prevalence rates over 0.20%. The HIV prevalence rates paralleled the incidence of AIDs in the country, which is lowest in the southern regions. HIV prevalence was almost three times higher in infants born in metropolitan areas compared to non-metropolitan areas. HIV prevalence dropped each year between 1990 and 1992 but began to rise in 1993. Based on this survey, about 2,300 babies were born to HIV-positive women between 1990 and 1993. This could lead to 460 to 570 cases of pediatric AIDS among these children.
Publication Name: Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes and Human Retrovirology
Trends in HIV prevalence among pregnant women in Italy, 1994 to 2002
The trends in HIV prevalence among childbearing women is analyzed through unlinked anonymous testing of newborns. It is found that a number of children born to an HIV-positive mother calls for continued efforts to prevent vertical transmission of the infection.
Publication Name: Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (1999)
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