OBJECTIVE: To analyse the uptake of interventions known to reduce the risk of perinatal HIV transmission among Australian women with HIV infection (who knew their HIV status before delivery), and identify predictors of uptake.
DESIGN: Retrospective analysis of perinatal HIV surveillance data in Australia.
PATIENTS: Women reported as having HIV infection and having given birth to a child (1982-2005) were identified through three mechanisms: an informal network of clinicians (1982-1993); an active surveillance program through paediatricians (since 1993); and state health department reports of children born to women newly diagnosed with HIV (since 1995).
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Uptake of interventions - avoidance of breastfeeding (after 1985), use of zidovudine during pregnancy (after 1994), and elective caesarean section (after 1999). Factors associated with uptake of these interventions were identified by univariate and multivariate analyses.
RESULTS: 367 live births were reported in 291 women with HIV infection. Among the subgroup diagnosed with HIV infection before delivery, 4/255 (1.6%) elected to breastfeed (post 1985), 44/185 (24%) did not receive zidovudine (after 1994), and 41/118 (35%) did not have an elective caesarean section (after 1999). In multivariate analysis, there were significant differences in uptake of zidovudine and elective caesarean section according to year of birth and state in which the birth took place.
CONCLUSION: In Australia between 1982 and 2005, uptake of interventions to reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV was high. There were significant differences associated with use of zidovudine and mode of delivery according to location of delivery and year of birth.