Unlinked anonymous testing indicates antenatal HIV testing is being successfully implemented.

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Thursday 19th May 2005

If HIV infection is detected before or during pregnancy, interventions such as antiretroviral therapy, caesarean section delivery and avoiding breastfeeding have meant that HIV transmission rates from mother to baby can be reduced from around 25% to 1%.

If HIV infection is detected before or during pregnancy, interventions such as antiretroviral therapy, caesarean section delivery and avoiding breastfeeding have meant that HIV transmission rates from mother to baby can be reduced from around 25% to 1%. To maximise the number of women who are diagnosed during pregnancy and therefore the babies who can benefit from these interventions, a policy to offer and recommend an HIV test to all pregnant women as a routine part of antenatal care was introduced in England in 1999. Since then, a target of 80% of HIV positive pregnant women being diagnosed before delivery (detection rate) is estimated to have been met. In Scotland, some regions already had a policy of universal antenatal HIV testing before 2003, and in mid-2003, the remaining regions implemented testing. All women giving birth in Scotland during 2004 did so in regions that had a policy of offering and recommending an HIV test. In Wales, a policy of universal antenatal HIV screening was introduced in 2000, and this was widely available by 2003.

Full article available at:
Eurosurveillance
Europe's Journal on Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Prevention and Control