HIV and pregnancy: A retrospective descriptive cross-sectional study of prevalence, maternal, obstetrical, and neonatal outcome at a tertiary care hospital in Oman

Nada Ali Salim Al Hasani*, Tamima Al Dughaishi, Abdullah A. Balkhair

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: We sought to investigate the prevalence of HIV in pregnant women and the maternal, obstetrical, and neonatal outcomes over 13 years (2005–2017) at Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, a tertiary hospital in Muscat, Oman. Methods: Our study design was a retrospective descriptive cross-sectional study of HIV-positive women in the department of obstetrics and gynecology. We had an unlimited sample size due to the rarity of the disease. We aimed to include all pregnant Omani women who tested positive for HIV in their antenatal screening from 1 January 2005 to 31 December 2017. The patient records were reviewed using the hospital information system service. Results: There were a total of 13 688 women with 104 281 pregnancies over the study period. The prevalence of Omani pregnant women with HIV was 0.1% (1:1000) with 0.03% of seropositive pregnancies (3:10 000). Of these seropositive pregnancies, 78.6% were known HIV carriers, while 21.4% were newly diagnosed cases. The live birth rate was 90.3%, with 9.7% resulting in miscarriage. All the miscarriages were to known HIV-positive mothers who were managed in accordance with international guidelines. Of the live births, 10.7% were unknown HIV-positive mothers with a mean gestational age of 39.67 weeks and a mean birth weight of 3.2 kg. The rate of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV in this group was 33.3%. In contrast, 89.3% of the live births to known HIV-positive mothers delivered neonates with a mean gestational age of 37.4 weeks and a mean birth weight of 2.6 kg with 0.0% MTCT. Modes of delivery, antepartum, intrapartum and postpartum complications as well as long-term neonatal outcomes were analyzed according to the status of the mother at first presentation. Conclusions: Strategies have been placed by programs in Oman to focus on the wellbeing of pregnant women and the protection of newborns against HIV infection. Strict implementations on preventing MTCT allowed preventing HIV in children possible. Antiretroviral therapy significantly reduces vertical transmission of HIV, in addition to abstinence of breastfeeding. More importantly, all HIV-positive pregnant women should follow the prevention of MTCT programs set out by the Ministry of Health.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere321
JournalOman Medical Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Cross-sectional studies
  • HIV
  • Infant, newborn
  • Infectious disease transmission, vertical
  • Obstetrics
  • Oman
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnant women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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