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Open Access Research article

Seroprevalence of HIV in pregnant women in North India: a tertiary care hospital based study

Swati Gupta, Richa Gupta and Sarman Singh*

Author Affiliations

Division of Clinical Microbiology, Department of Laboratory Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi-110029. India

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2007, 7:133  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-7-133

Published: 15 November 2007

Abstract

Background

Estimating the seroprevalence of HIV in a low risk population such as pregnant women provides essential information for an effective implementation of AIDS control programmes, and also for the monitoring of HIV spread within a country. Very few studies are available from north India showing the current trend in HIV prevalence in the antenatal population;which led us to carry outthis study at a tertiary care hospital in north India

Methods

Blood samples from pregnant women attending antenatal clinics at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi were collected after informed consent and pre-test counseling. The samples were tested for HIV antibodies as per the WHO guidelines, over a period of four years from January 2003 to December 2006.

Results

Of the 3529 pregnant women tested in four years, 0.88% (CI 0.5 – 1.24) women were found to be HIV seroreactive. Majority of the seroreactive pregnant women (41.9%) were in the age group of 20–24 years followed by the 30–34 yrs (25.8%) and 25–29 years (22.6%) age group. The mean age of the HIV positive women was 24.9 years (SD ± 1.49 yrs). The HIV seroprevalence rates showed an increasing trend from 0.7% (CI 0.14 – 2.04) in 2003–2004 to 0.9% (CI 0.49 – 1.5) in 2005–2006. This prevalence rate indicates concern, as Delhi and its adjoining states are otherwise considered as 'low prevalence states'.

Conclusion

Seroprevalence of HIV infection was found to be increasing in the last four years amongst pregnant women of North India. These findings are in contrast to the national projections.