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Infect Dis Obstet Gynecol. 1995;3(6):229-35.

Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 counseling and testing program in the prenatal setting.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology University of Medicine and Dentistry-New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ, USA.



The objectives of this study were to ascertain the acceptance rate of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) testing in a high-prevalence area and to describe the sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of seropositive women diagnosed in the prenatal setting.


A retrospective review was carried out of the prenatal HIV-1 counseling and testing program at University Hospital, Newark, NJ (1989-1990).


Sixty-seven percent (741/1,114) of the women offered HIV-1 counseling services accepted testing and 40 (40/741:5.3%) new cases were identified. Heterosexual contact was the primary exposure (17:52%) of these women, of whom 13 (73%) had negative syphilis serologies. Sixty-four percent were asymptomatic. The mean absolute CD4 lymphocyte count in seropositive women was 514 +/- 305 cells/mm(3) . Severe immunosuppression was seen in 7/32 (22%) patients. Seventy-three percent (24/33) depended on public-assistance programs for their health-care services.


A voluntary HIV-1 counseling and testing program is well accepted in the prenatal setting. It can provide early identification of asymptomatic seropositive women and infants at risk and lead to early intervention and therapy.

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