Comprehensive prenatal care for HIV-infected women in the United States involves addressing mental health needs. Retrospective quantitative data are presented from HIV-infected pregnant women (n = 45) who reported childhood sexual or physical abuse (66%), abuse in adulthood by a sexual partner (25%), and abuse during pregnancy (10%). Depression and anxiety were the most commonly reported psychological symptoms; more than half of the sample reported symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), including HIV-related PTSD (PTSD-HIV). There was a strong association between depression and PTSD as well as between anxiety and PTSD-HIV. The majority of infants received zidovudine at birth and continued the recommended regimen. All but one infant were determined to be noninfected. Women improved their CD4+ T cell counts and HIV RNA viral loads while in prenatal care. Results support the need for targeted prenatal programs to address depression, anxiety, substance use, and trauma in HIV-infected women.
- Mental health
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Advanced and Specialized Nursing