Technical brief: Dolutegravir for women living with HIV of reproductive age

In May 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported a potential safety issue concerning dolutegravir (DTG), a common first-line antiretroviral treatment drug that is used to prevent and treat HIV infections. Preliminary findings from a study in Botswana found an increased risk of neural tube defects in infants born to women taking DTG at the time of conception.

As a result of this study, WHO’s revised guidance on antiretroviral regimens for treating and preventing HIV infections, released in July 2018, include a caution on use of DTG by women and adolescent girls of childbearing potential. This brief aims to provide an overview of the research to date, current WHO guidance, and recommendations for IPPF.