Although most obstetrician-gynecologists recommend HIV testing to all their pregnant patients, some are unaware of their state requirements for recommending such testing, according to a report in November 2007 issue of the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Several organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have recommended that all pregnant women be screened for HIV, using an opt-out approach, as part of routine prenatal care. With the opt-out method, the woman is tested unless she explicitly refuses. She is provided information on HIV and told that a test will be performed as part of a battery of standard tests. She is also informed that she has the right to decline testing.
Jay Schulkin, MD, and colleagues from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists surveyed ob-gyns regarding HIV knowledge. All but 3% reported that they recommend HIV testing to all of their pregnant patients, although nearly three quarters considered only 5% or fewer of their pregnant patients to be at high risk for HIV infection.
Almost half the physicians (57%) reported using the HIV testing approach required in their states. Nearly one third of them said they did not know if their state required HIV testing during pregnancy. Most reported that they provide counseling before HIV testing (73.7%) and post-test counseling (84.6%).