By Joe De Capua
A new study says pregnancy may help protect HIV-positive women from developing full-blown AIDS. The study appears in the October 1st issue of the Journal of Infectious Diseases.
Dr. Timothy Sterling of Vanderbilt University is the senior author of the study. He says there were surprising findings for HIV-positive women who were taking anti-retroviral drugs.
“We found that the women who became pregnant during the study period had a lower risk of progressing to AIDS-defining events or death than the women who did not become pregnant. This was an observational study just looking at 759 women who were seen at some point during the study period, which was between January 1997 and December 2004,” he says.
Tango does not advocate HIV carriers intentionally becoming pregnant. At all. There are still dangers to the unborn child. And bringing another life into this world is a major responsibility. That being said, this is big news in terms of pregnancy and AIDS. In the past, some women avoided getting pregnant when they had HIV because there was a legend that pregnancy exacerbated HIV. This is also good news for fighting AIDS. Clearly the body is doing something while it’s pregnant to defend against the disease. It seems like this would be impetus for someone or another to find out what that is and base another generation of anti-retrovirals on it.