HIV-positive women living in the United Kingdom and Ireland have experienced a stillbirth rate twice that of their HIV-negative peers during the past decade, aidsmap reports. However, the rate has steadily declined during this period and is now just 50 percent higher than that of the general population.

Researchers from the National Study of HIV in Pregnancy and Childhood (NSHPC) study analyzed the stillbirth rate and associated risk factors among U.K. and Irish women with HIV who delivered babies between 2007 and 2015. The investigators looked at data from single births delivered at the 24th week of gestation or later. Those infants born with no signs of life were considered stillbirths.

Eighty-nine out of 10,405 pregnancies were stillborn, for a rate of 0.9 percent. The estimated stillborn rate in the general population in the United Kingdom and Ireland is 0.4 percent. The stillbirth rate among the HIV-positive women declined over time, from 1.1 percent during 2007 to 2009 to 0.8 percent during 2010 to 2012 and 0.6 percent during 2013 to 2015.

Compared with women born in Europe, women whose country of origin was in sub-Saharan Africa were 3.26 times more likely to have a stillbirth, and women from other regions of the world were 5.59 times more likely to have a stillbirth.

After adjusting the data for various factors, the researchers found that having a first CD4 count test result of below 350 during pregnancy was associated with a 1.73-fold greater likelihood of a stillbirth compared with a CD4 result of 350 or above. Compared with those not on their first pregnancy, those women having their first pregnancy were 1.85-fold more likely to have a stillbirth. Compared with those younger than 28, those older than 36 were 4.12-fold more likely to have a stillbirth.

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