In the United States and Canada, one of the fastest growing populations in the profile of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) cases is women [1], and most women who are currently infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and AIDS are of childbearing age [2]. These facts support the increasing need to consider the implications of HIV and AIDS on pregnancy and lactation. There is no evidence to indicate that pregnancy and lactation have a significant effect on hastening the progression of HIV disease [3, 4]. However, women who are infected with HIV and are pregnant face a double burden in terms of their immune function and face additional potential complications. For example, HIV-infected pregnant women have higher risks of fetal loss [5, 6],

From: Nutrition and Health: Handbook of Nutrition and Pregnancy Edited by: C.J. Lammi-Keefe, S.C. Couch, E.H. Philipson © Humana Press, Totowa, NJ

low birth weight, preterm delivery, and intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) [7]. Additionally, the HIV-infected pregnant woman is at a higher nutritional risk, owing to increased energy needs, tendency to achieve suboptimal weight gain during pregnancy, micronutrient deficiencies, and management of disease symptoms.

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