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Stop press! Preventing infections saves lives

Posted by plosmedicine on 31 Mar 2009 at 00:20 GMT

Author: Elizabeth Pisani
Position: Epidemiologist
Institution: Independent consultant
E-mail: pisani@ternyata.org
Submitted Date: February 20, 2008
Published Date: February 22, 2008
This comment was originally posted as a “Reader Response” on the publication date indicated above. All Reader Responses are now available as comments.

Autopsy studies are always interesting, but they can lead to some pretty banal conclusions. In the paper, the authors essentially conclude that infectious diseases kill people, and that if we prevented and treated them, fewer people would die. The news that some of these deaths happen during or shortly after pregnancy is hardly earth-shattering.

What IS interesting is the implication that women who apparently have late-stage HIV disease are still becoming pregnant in significant numbers, despite the dampening effect that HIV has on fertility. If the goal is to reduce maternal mortality associated with HIV infection [ http://www.wisdomofwhores... ], one approach would be to increase access to quality contraceptive services for women with advanced HIV disease.

No competing interests declared.