What are the CDC recommendation for HIV testing during pregnancy?

Updated: Sep 19, 2018
  • Author: David J Cennimo, MD, FAAP, FACP, AAHIVS; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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The CDC recommends human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing as early as possible in every pregnancy. [17] The test should be voluntary, with the option to opt-out. If the patient declines testing, every effort should be made to address the reasons for that decision. A second HIV test during the third trimester, preferably before 36 weeks’ gestation, is cost-effective even in areas of low HIV prevalence and may be considered in all pregnant women. A second HIV test is recommended in pregnant women with high risk behavior for HIV infection (eg, injection-drug use), when the prevalence of HIV infection in that population is greater than 0.1%, or when the incidence of HIV infection in that health care facility is at least one per 1000 women screened.

All women in labor whose HIV status is unknown should undergo rapid HIV testing. If the test result is positive, available interventions to decrease the risk of perinatal transmission (eg, administration of antiretroviral therapy) should be initiated without waiting for a confirmatory test.

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