SEATTLE — Monica Gandhi, MD, MPH, professor of medicine at the University of California San Francisco, spoke with Infectious Disease News about HIV treatment options for pregnant women.
Specifically, Gandhi spoke about how little is known about antiretroviral treatment options for women with HIV who are pregnant or planning pregnancy. During a panel on the subject at CROI, she showed a slide listing available ART options for adults with HIV. Once she removed drugs that are not approved or recommended in pregnancy, there were few treatment options left for pregnant women with HIV.
Gandhi recalled seeing the FDA safety alert issued last year warning about a potential link between dolutegravir taken in early pregnancy and neural tube birth defects. She said including pregnant women in studies is necessary to answer important questions about available treatments.
“We should really justify why we exclude pregnant women from research,” Gandhi said. “It used to be that we had to justify why we should even have pregnant women in research. How the field is changing — and we really believe this in HIV medicine — is that it’s unethical to not include [them]. That was really the fundamental message of the panel: We know little.”
Disclosure: Gandhi reports no relevant financial disclosures.