Open Access Research article

Response to antiretroviral therapy (ART): comparing women with previous use of zidovudine monotherapy (ZDVm) in pregnancy with ART naïve women

Susie Huntington12*, Claire Thorne1, Jane Anderson3, Marie-Louise Newell4, Graham P Taylor5, Deenan Pillay26, Teresa Hill2, Pat Tookey1, Caroline Sabin2, the UK Collaborative HIV Cohort (UK CHIC) Study and the National Study of HIV in Pregnancy and Childhood (NSHPC)

Author Affiliations

1 Centre for Paediatric Epidemiology and Biostatistics, UCL Institute of Child Health, 30 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1EH, UK

2 HIV Epidemiology and Biostatistics Group, UCL Research Department of Infection and Population Health, Royal Free Campus, Rowland Hill Street, London NW3 2PF, UK

3 Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Homerton Row, London E9 6SR, UK

4 Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Building 85, Life Sciences Building, Highfield Campus, University Rd, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK

5 Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College, London, UK

6 Public Health England (PHE) CfI, 61 Colindale Avenue, London NW9 5HT, UK

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2014, 14:127  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-14-127

Published: 4 March 2014



Short-term zidovudine monotherapy (ZDVm) remains an option for some pregnant HIV-positive women not requiring treatment for their own health but may affect treatment responses once antiretroviral therapy (ART) is subsequently started.


Data were obtained by linking two UK studies: the UK Collaborative HIV Cohort (UK CHIC) study and the National Study of HIV in Pregnancy and Childhood (NSHPC). Treatment responses were assessed for 2028 women initiating ART at least one year after HIV-diagnosis. Outcomes were compared using logistic regression, proportional hazards regression or linear regression.


In adjusted analyses, ART-naïve (n = 1937) and ZDVm-experienced (n = 91) women had similar increases in CD4 count and a similar proportion achieving virological suppression; both groups had a low risk of AIDS.


In this setting, antenatal ZDVm exposure did not adversely impact on outcomes once ART was initiated for the woman’s health.

HIV; Pregnancy; Antiretroviral therapy; United Kingdom