Offering pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV prevention to pregnant and postpartum women: a clinical approach

Post date: March 2017

HIV prevention during pregnancy and lactation is critical for both maternal and child health. Pregnancy provides a critical opportunity for clinicians to elicit women’s vulnerabilities to HIV and offer HIV testing, treatment and referral and/or comprehensive HIV prevention options for the current pregnancy, the postpartum period and safer conception options for future pregnancies. In this commentary, we review the safety of oral pre-exposure prophylaxis with tenofovir/emtricitabine in pregnant and lactating women and suggest opportunities to identify pregnant and postpartum women at substantial risk of HIV. We then describe a clinical approach to caring for women who both choose and decline pre-exposure prophylaxis during pregnancy and postpartum, highlighting areas for future research.