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Release Date: 09/24/2015

Brenna L. Hughes, MD, MSc, of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and Director of the Women’s Infectious Disease program at Women & Infants Hospital presented at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society for Obstetrics and Gynecology (IDSOG) in Portland, OR. IDSOG brings together professionals in the field of obstetrics and gynecology who are interested in the scientific study of infectious diseases in women.

One of two poster presentations by the group took home the Best Poster Award, “Longitudinal cohort study of association of HIV infectivity with pregnancy.” The study examined epidemiologic data that currently conflicts as to whether pregnancy increases the risk of HIV acquisition. To measure this, the team compared the protection against infectivity conferred by cervicovaginal secretions among pregnant and non-pregnant women using a novel in vitro model.

The sample included 40 pregnant women with the mean gestational age of 12 weeks and 37 non-pregnant women. There were no significant differences between groups in most demographic characteristics. Pregnant women were followed across gestation and non-pregnant women across the menstrual cycle. Cervicovaginal lavage (CVL) was performed at each visit. CVL fluid from both groups significantly inhibited HIV infectivity compared to the control group.

“The median percent inhibition of HIV infectivity at enrollment did not differ between pregnant and non-pregnant women. The findings were similar at each follow-up visit and infectivity did not change significantly across time within groups,” said Dr. Hughes, who served as principal author on the study. “Our data doesn’t support the data saying that pregnant women are at higher risk of contracting HIV. This suggests that we need to study that question more thoroughly.”

Erica Hardy, MD, MA, MMSc, co-Director of the Women’s Infectious Disease program, served as presenting author for the second poster presentation “Uptake of Third Trimester HIV Testing Program at a Tertiary Care Hospital.” In addition, oral presentations at the meeting included “Inflammatory Mediators in Cervicovaginal Secretions and Association with HIV Infectivity among Pregnant and Non-pregnant Women,” Dr. Hughes as primary author. Catherine Albright, MD, fellow in the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine, was the presenting author for the oral presentation “Use of Cefazolin for Group B streptococcus Prophylaxis in Women Allergic to Penicillin Without Anaphylaxis.”

The Infectious Diseases Society for Obstetrics and Gynecology (IDSOG) was created in 1973 to bring together professionals in the field of obstetrics and gynecology who are interested in the scientific study of infectious diseases in women. Activities of the Society are conducted for the advancement and promulgation of knowledge in infectious diseases, for improvements in women’s health care, and for the facilitation of personal and collaborative relationships among investigators in infectious diseases related to women’s health care.

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About Women & Infants Hospital

Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, a Care New England hospital, is one of the nation’s leading specialty hospitals for women and newborns. A major teaching affiliate of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University for obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics, as well as a number of specialized programs in women’s medicine, Women & Infants is the 9th largest stand-alone obstetrical service in the country and the largest in New England with approximately 8,500 deliveries per year. A Designated Baby-Friendly® USA hospital, U.S.News & World Report 2014-15 Best Children’s Hospital in Neonatology and a 2014 Leapfrog Top Hospital, in 2009 Women & Infants opened what was at the time the country’s largest, single-family room neonatal intensive care unit.

Women & Infants and Brown offer fellowship programs in gynecologic oncology, maternal-fetal medicine, urogynecology and reconstructive pelvic surgery, neonatal-perinatal medicine, pediatric and perinatal pathology, gynecologic pathology and cytopathology, and reproductive endocrinology and infertility. It is home to the nation’s first mother-baby perinatal psychiatric partial hospital, as well as the nation’s only fellowship program in obstetric medicine.

Women & Infants has been designated as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiography; a Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology; a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence by the National Institutes of Health (NIH); and a Neonatal Resource Services Center of Excellence. It is one of the largest and most prestigious research facilities in high risk and normal obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics in the nation, and is a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Gynecologic Oncology Group and the Pelvic Floor Disorders Network.
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