AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp 1269–1278 | Cite as

Substance Use in HIV-Infected Women During Pregnancy: Self-Report Versus Meconium Analysis

  • Katherine Tassiopoulos
  • Jennifer S. Read
  • Susan Brogly
  • Kenneth Rich
  • Barry Lester
  • Stephen A. Spector
  • Ram Yogev
  • George R. SeageIII


We evaluated prenatal substance use in a cohort of 480 HIV-infected women and their uninfected children. Substance use was reported by 29%; the most common substances reported were tobacco (18%), alcohol (10%), and marijuana (7.2%). Fewer than 4% of women reported cocaine or opiate use. Substance use was more common in the first trimester (25%) than the second (17%) and third (15%) (trend p-value <0.01), and was associated with race/ethnicity, education, birthplace, age and marital status. For 264 mother/infant pairs with meconium results, sensitivity of self-report was 86% for tobacco, 80% for marijuana and 67% for cocaine. Higher discordance between self-report and urine/blood toxicology was observed for cocaine, marijuana and opiates in a non-random subset of mothers/infants with these tests. Findings suggest reasonably complete self-reporting of substance use as confirmed by meconium analysis. Illicit substance use was low and substantially less than that reported in earlier studies of HIV-infected women, but alcohol and tobacco exposure was prevalent.


Substance use Prenatal exposure Meconium HIV 



We thank the children and families for their participation in the PHACS protocol “Surveillance Monitoring for ART Toxicities” (SMARTT), and the individuals and institutions involved in the conduct of PHACS SMARTT. The study was supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development with co-funding from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, through cooperative agreements with the Harvard University School of Public Health (U01 HD052102-04) (Principal Investigator: George Seage; Project Director: Julie Alperen) and the Tulane University School of Medicine (U01 HD052104-01) (Principal Investigator: Russell Van Dyke; Co-Principal Investigator: Kenneth Rich; Project Director: Patrick Davis). Data management services were provided by Frontier Science and Technology Research Foundation (PI: Suzanne Siminski), and regulatory services and logistical support were provided by Westat, Inc (PI: Mercy Swatson).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katherine Tassiopoulos
    • 1
  • Jennifer S. Read
    • 2
  • Susan Brogly
    • 3
  • Kenneth Rich
    • 4
  • Barry Lester
    • 5
  • Stephen A. Spector
    • 6
  • Ram Yogev
    • 7
  • George R. SeageIII
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EpidemiologyHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  2. 2.Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human DevelopmentNIHBethesdaUSA
  3. 3.Center for Biostatistics in AIDS ResearchHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  4. 4.Department of PediatricsUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA
  5. 5.Center for the Study of Children at RiskThe Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Women and Infants HospitalProvidenceUSA
  6. 6.Department of Pediatrics, Division of Infectious DiseasesUniversity of California, San DiegoLa JollaUSA
  7. 7.Section of Pediatric, Adolescent and Maternal HIV InfectionChildren’s Memorial HospitalChicagoUSA

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