A cross-sectional study of risk factors for HIV among pregnant women in Guatemala City, Guatemala: Lessons for prevention

M. Johri, R. E. Morales, Jeffrey S Hoch, B. E. Samayoa, C. Sommen, C. F. Grazioso, J. F. Boivin, I. J. Barrios Matta, E. L. Baide Diaz, E. G. Arathoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Although the Central American HIV epidemic is concentrated in high-risk groups, HIV incidence is increasing in young women. From 2005 to 2007, we conducted a cross-sectional study of pregnant women in a large public hospital and an HIV clinic in Guatemala City to describe risk factors for HIV infection and inform prevention strategies. For 4629 consenting patients, HIV status was laboratory-confirmed and participant characteristics were assessed by interviewer-administered questionnaires. Lifetime number of sexual partners ranged from 1 to 99, with a median (interquartile range) of 1 (1, 2). 2.6% (120) reported exchanging sex for benefits; 0.1% (3) were sex workers, 2.3% (106) had used illegal drugs, 31.1% (1421) planned their pregnancy and 31.8% (1455) experienced abuse. In logistic regression analyses, HIV status was predicted by one variable describing women's behaviour (lifetime sexual partners) and three variables describing partner risks (partner HIV+ , migrant worker or suspected unfaithful). Women in our sample exhibited few behavioural risks for HIV but significant vulnerability via partner behaviours. To stem feminization of the epidemic, health authorities should complement existing prevention interventions in high-risk populations with directed efforts towards bridging populations such as migrant workers. We identify four locally adapted HIV prevention strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)789-796
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of STD and AIDS
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Epidemiology
  • HIV
  • Latin America
  • Mobile populations
  • Pregnant women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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