Go to content

Trends in live birth rates and adverse neonatal outcomes among HIV-positive women in Ontario, Canada, 2002-2009: a descriptive population-based study


Objectives — To characterise trends in live birth rates, adverse neonatal outcomes and socio-demographic characteristics of pregnant women with diagnosed HIV between the ages of 18 and 49 in Ontario, Canada from 1 April 2002 to 31 March 2010.

Methods — We conducted a population-based study using linked administrative healthcare databases, and used generalised estimating equations to characterise secular trends and examine the association between live births and socio-demographic characteristics, including age, region of birth and neighbourhood income quintile.

Results — Between 2002/2003 and 2009/2010, there were 551 live births during 15,610 person-years of follow-up. The proportion of HIV-positive mothers originally from Africa or the Caribbean increased from 26.7% to 51.6% over the study period. The risk of pre-term (risk ratio 2.13, 95% confidence interval 1.74 to 2.61) and small for gestational age births (risk ratio 1.53, 95% confidence interval 1.20 to 1.94) was higher in women with HIV compared with provincial estimates for these outcomes.

Interpretation — Women with HIV have rates of pre-term and small for gestational age births that exceed provincial estimates for these outcomes. Further research is required to identify factors mediating these disparities that are amenable to pre-natal risk reduction initiatives.



Antoniou T, Zagorski B, Macdonald E, Bayoumi AM, Raboud J, Brophy J, Masinde KI, Tharao WE, Yudin MH, Ng R, Loutfy MR, Glazier RH. Int J STD AIDS. 2014; 25(13):960-6. Epub 2014 Mar 19.

Associated Sites