Effects and Burden of HIV, Viral Hepatitis and STDs on Pregnant Women and Infants

Infection with HIV, viral hepatitis or STDs can affect the wellbeing of the mother, the pregnancy outcome, and child. HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and syphilis infection can have particularly serious health consequences for both mothers and infants.

Not All Pregnant Women and Their Infants/Children are Equally Affected by HIV, Hepatitis B Infection, Hepatitis C Infection, and Congenital Syphilis

In 2018 in the United States, 61% of the diagnoses of HIV infection among children aged less than 13 years were among blacks/African Americans, 26% were among Hispanics/Latinos, and 17% were among whites.1

Infants with perinatal hepatitis B infection are more likely to have a younger mother and be of Asian/Pacific Islander race.2

Rates of HCV infection diagnosed at delivery in hospitals are substantially higher among women with opioid use disorder, as a result of the opioid crisis and increases in HCV infection.3

The highest diagnosis rates of congenital syphilis during 2018 were among non-Hispanic blacks and American Indians/Alaska Natives, and occurred among women in the U.S. southern and western regions.4

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV Surveillance Report, 2018 (Updated); vol. 31. HIV Surveillance Reports. Figure 28. Published May 2020. Accessed June 22, 2020.
  2. Schillie S, Talker T, Veselsky S, et al. Outcomes of infants born to women infected with hepatitis Bexternal icon. Pediatrics 2015;135(5):e1141-1147.
  3. Ko JY, Haight SC, Schillie SF, Bohm MK, Dietz PM. National Trends in Hepatitis C Infection by Opioid Use Disorder Status Among Pregnant Women at Delivery Hospitalization — United States, 2000–2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2019;68:833–838.
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2018 Sexually transmitted diseases surveillancepdf icon. Accessed May 18, 2020.
Page last reviewed: June 29, 2020