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National Surveillance of HIV in Pregnancy and Childhood

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HIV-exposed and HIV-positive children

All infants born to HIV-positive women in the UK or Ireland should be reported to the NSHPC regardless of infection status.

The NSHPC paediatric reporting system is now online. Secure accounts are required to log in and report all infants born to HIV-positive women in the UK or Ireland regardless of infection status, as well as all children diagnosed with HIV seen for care in the UK. 

Contact the nshpc team to set up an account

Tel: 0207 905 2815 | E: nshpc@ucl.ac.uk

The online system securely retains a record of your reporting history, and provides prompts for confirmatory antibody test results.

Please note: once you have an online account there is no need to also report cases on the BPSU orange card, please leave this box blank to prevent duplication of reports. All other (non-HIV) conditions should be reported to them as usual.

National Surveillance covers:

  • HIV-exposed infants born in the UK within their first 3-6 months of life.
  • Infants/children (<16years) diagnosed with HIV should be reported as soon as they are seen at your unit. This includes children born in the UK/Ireland and abroad.

Please remember to report any of these infants/children seen for the first time at your unit (even if seen for follow-up elsewhere).

HIV-positive children

  • Once notified to the NSHPC, HIV-positive children are registered and followed up by the Collaborative HIV Paediatric Study (CHIPS), a collaboration between the MRC Clinical Trials Unit, the NSHPC and reporting clinicians.
  • Any vertically infected children born in the UK are included in the ongoing enhanced surveillance of vertical transmissions to investigate circumstances surrounding transmission.

For further queries about paediatric reporting, please contact Kate Francis:

Breastfeeding enhanced surveillance

BHIVA currently recommend recommends formula-feeding infants born to WLHIV, eliminating postnatal transmission risk; but also states that virologically suppressed treated women with good adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) who choose to breastfeed may be clinically supported to do so:  https://www.bhiva.org/pregnancy-guidelines

All cases of planned and/or supported breastfeeding by HIV-diagnosed mothers are included in the NSHPC enhanced data collection. This enhanced surveillance is ongoing and includes all children born from 2012. There are currently no data on breastfeeding among HIV-positive mothers in resource-rich settings. Findings will be used to inform national guidelines and policy.

The enhanced surveillance of breastfeeding cases is supervised by the NSHPC Surveillance Coordinator Kate Francis (kate.francis3@nhs.net).  Maternity and paediatric respondents are contacted for information including all monthly and infant testing for the duration of breastfeeding.

Vertical transmissions enhanced surveillance

All UK-born children identified as being vertically infected are included in the ongoing enhanced surveillance carried out by the NSHPC. The purpose of the enhanced surveillance is to evaluate antenatal screening pathways and the management of women whose infants acquire HIV vertically to contribute to:

  • monitoring and improvement of antenatal HIV screening protocols
  • understanding timing and circumstances of maternal and infant acquisition of infection

Information is collected via telephone interview with all clinicians involved in the care of the mother and child. Findings are fed into an Expert Review Panel who meet on an annual basis to discuss anonymised cases.

The enhanced surveillance of vertical transmissions is supervised by the NSHPC Surveillance Manager, Helen Peters (helen.peters2@nhs.net). Findings to date have been fed into PHE’s IDPS national standards and guidelines, with results published in HIV Medicine https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/hiv.12577