How can a hormone be used to help the babies of mothers on HIV treatment?
Dr. Murphy’s team has identified that progesterone, a hormone that plays a very important role in fetal development during pregnancy, is lower with exposure to certain antiretrovirals and that levels of progesterone in HIV-positive pregnant women directly correlate with birth weight.
In an animal model, we showed that by supplementing with progesterone we were to reverse the birth weight deficits caused by antiretroviral therapy. The ProSPAR study is a randomized, controlled clinical trial of progesterone supplementation in HIV-positive pregnant women on antiretroviral therapy. The trial will test the feasibility of performing a larger efficacy trial, will collect safety data, and will assess the acceptability and compliance rate of women to this intervention. The trial will also collect preliminary efficacy data, i.e. birth weight differences with progesterone use.