PURPOSE: to analyze the clinical and epidemiological profile, the outcome of pregnancy and the vertical transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected pregnant women receiving prenatal care at the University Hospital of Santa Maria (HUSM). METHODS: A prospective study was conducted on 139 HIV-infected pregnant women attended at the High-Risk Prenatal Care Outpatient Clinic of HUSM, during the period from August 2002 to August 2007, with at least two prenatal visits in this service. Data were collected by an interview and by filling out a research protocol during a prenatal visit. The protocol was attached to the medical records of the patient and kept until the outcome of gestation. Descriptive analysis of quantitative variables was performed using the SPSS software, version 15.0. RESULTS: The mean age of the 139 pregnant women studied was 25.6 years (±5.8), 79 (56.8%) were white, 81 (58.5%) were married or lived in a stable union, and 90 (65.0%) had less than eight years of schooling. Fifty-one percent of the pregnant women already had two or more children, with a number of children higher than the mean for the state. The infection was diagnosed during the present or a previous pregnancy in more than 70.0% cases. Sexual exposure occurred in 97.0%, and in 59.6% of cases the partner was known to be infected. During the study period, among the cases properly monitored, only one newborn (0.7%) was infected with HIV. CONCLUSIONS: Young women in a socioeconomic situation of vulnerability, with low schooling and multiparous represent the majority of HIV-positive pregnant women attended at the service. Evaluations performed during the prenatal period were relevant for the diagnosis of infection in most cases. An early diagnosis associated with proper clinical, obstetrical and psychological monitoring and with nursing care is important to provide appropriate treatment compliance and a reduction of the rates of vertical transmission.
HIV infections; HIV; Infectious disease transmission; vertical; Prenatal care; Sexually transmitted diseases