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European Collaborative Study on Pregnant HIV Infected Women and Their Children
Framework programme:
Project number:
EC contribution:
€ 627 441
36 months
Starting date:
1 September 2000

Keywords: Mother-to-child transmission; HIV infection; paediatric; interventions; epidemiology


The European Collaborative Study aims to investigate the consequences of HIV infection in pregnancy and its outcome in infected and uninfected children born to HIV infected mothers. Interventions to reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission are now widely available, which has resulted in substantially reduced rates of transmission. However, these interventions may have potential long-term adverse effects, in particular for uninfected children exposed to antiretroviral therapy in utero or early in life. Monitoring the rates of transmission and the occurrence of such adverse events is vital on a European basis.


By the end of 1998, nearly 40 000 women had been diagnosed with AIDS in Europe, and there were an estimated 400 000 women living with HIV infection, mostly of child-bearing age, and the number of infants at risk of vertically acquired HIV infection continues to rise. Although interventions are now available to reduce the risk of vertical transmission (such as anti-retroviral therapy with zidovudine, elective caesarean section and refraining from breastfeeding), important new questions have emerged regarding the effect of such interventions on the health of HIV-infected women and their infected and uninfected children. The European Collaborative Study is a unique prospective cohort study, which, over the past decade, has provided an epidemiological assessment of the issues relating to HIV infection in pregnancy and childhood.

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