The relationship between psychological stress of female human immune deficiency virus positive serodiscordance and the birthweight of babies delivered by them at the Imo state university teaching hospital Orlu


  • Victor I. Ogoke Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Maternity and Children’s Hospital, Najran, Saudi Arabia
  • Chijioke Okeudo Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Maternity and Children’s Hospital, Najran, Saudi Arabia



Pregnancy, Female HIV sero-discordant, Emotional distress, Birthweight


Background: The aim of the study was to determine if the emotional distress (stress, and depression) experienced by HIV positive sero-discordant pregnant women because of their retroviral status had any effect on the birth weight of their baby.

Methods: This was a comparative analytical study carried out among HIV positive sero-discordant pregnant women carried out at The Imo State University Teaching Hospital (IMSUTH), Orlu, Imo state, Nigeria, from January 2016 to December 2018. The women were grouped into two groups- A and B. Group A did not experience emotional stress from their husbands because of their serostatus, while group B did. Using the DAS-21 scale (depression, anxiety and stress-21), group B was further sub-classified into mild, moderate and severe emotional distress. After delivery, the birth weights of the babies from the two groups were accordingly recorded.

Results: Out of 322 HIV positive sero-discordant pregnant women recruited for the study, 161 (group A) were supported by their husband, while 161 (group B) were abused and had varying degrees of emotional distress. Emotional distress was significantly more in group B, where 100% of them had varying degrees of emotional distress, while 0% in group A. Similarly, birth weight of babies delivered by group B women were significantly less than that of babies delivered by group A mothers.

Conclusions: There are psychological stress faced by female HIV sero-discordant pregnant women and this is found to be associated with delivering of low birth weight babies by these women.


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Original Research Articles