Objective: To compare one-year outcomes of women started on antiretroviral therapy (ART) during pregnancy in the pre-Option B+ era to those in the Option B+ era. Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed at three sites in Malawi. Women were included in the “pre-Option B+” cohort if they started ART during pregnancy for a CD4 count < 350 cells/mm3 or WHO 3/4 condition and in the “Option B+” cohort if they started ART during pregnancy regardless of CD4 count or clinical stage. One-year outcomes were compared using Fisher’s exact and ANOVA F-tests. Results: A higher proportion of women in the pre-Option B+ cohort started ART at WHO stage 3/4 (11.9% versus 1.1%, P < 0.001), switched ART regimens (5.9% versus 0%, P = 0.002), or died in the first year after starting treatment (3.9% versus 0.5%, P = 0.05). While more women in the Option B+ cohort had poor adherence or defaulted, these differences were not significant. Conclusions: At our study sites, the transition to Option B+ has been associated with ART initiation in women with less advanced HIV infection, improved medication tolerability, and lower mortality. Further research is needed to better understand outcomes of Option B+.
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