Study to Evaluate HIV, Zika Coinfection in Pregnant Women

Investigators aim to determine whether Zika virus interferes with antiretroviral drugs that prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

A prospective study by the National Institute of Health (NIH) will examine the impact of the Zika virus on pregnant women living with HIV.

Currently, little is known about whether the Zika virus poses additional risks for HIV-positive mothers and their babies.

The investigators hope to provide new insight into whether being HIV-positive increases an individual’s risk of infection with Zika and vice versa, and whether coinfection increases the risk of damage to the fetus’ brain.

The study will also examine whether the Zika virus interferes with antiretroviral agents used to prevent mother-to-child transmission, according to an NIH press release.

Included in the study will be pregnant women infected only with HIV, only with Zika virus, both HIV and Zika, and women without either infection.

Enrollment is currently underway in Puerto Rico, and volunteers will soon be recruited from the United States and Brazil.

Mothers will be monitored throughout their pregnancies and 6 months post-partum, whereas infants will be monitored for a year after birth.

The study, sponsored by NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, will be conducted in 2 parts.

Approximately 200 pregnant women will be recruited during the initial phase. If successful, the investigators will then aim to enroll an additional 1800 pregnant women.

The study is expected to run between 4 and 6 years, according to the release.