Studies show that around 10-40% of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) positive women will give birth to children who are also infected. This study evaluated the vitamin A status in pregnant women as a risk factor for mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Blood levels of vitamin A were measured in 338 HIV-positive mothers. In 74 mothers who transmitted HIV to their infants vitamin A concentrations were lower than those in 264 mothers who did not transmit HIV to their infants. Based on these results, the authors concluded that maternal vitamin A deficiency contributes to mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Further detail can be found in the study.
R D Semba, P G Miotti, J D Chiphangwi, A J Saah, J K Canner, G A Dallabetta, D R Hoover