e-Library of Evidence for Nutrition Actions (eLENA)

Vitamin A supplementation in HIV-infected women during pregnancy

Over 1000 new cases of mother-to-child transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) occur worldwide every day, making this the main route of transmission of HIV infection in children. Vitamin A deficiency also affects about 19 million pregnant women, mostly from the WHO regions of Africa and South-East Asia. Both HIV infection and pregnancy are considered to be risk factors for vitamin A deficiency.

During pregnancy, vitamin A is essential for maternal health and for the healthy development of the fetus. As vitamin A plays an important role in the immune function, it has been suggested that the provision of supplements containing this vitamin to HIV positive women may prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, but the evidence has been conflicting thus far.

At this time, WHO does not recommended vitamin A supplementation in HIV-positive women as a public health intervention for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

WHO documents

GRC-approved guidelines


Systematic reviews used to develop the guidelines
Related systematic reviews
Clinical trials

Last update:

25 March 2014 13:25 CET

Category 1 intervention

Guidelines have been recently approved by the WHO Guidelines Review Committee


There is not yet any implementation information related to this intervention in GINA