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Obstet Gynecol. 2003 Oct;102(4):782-90.

Human immunodeficiency virus retesting during pregnancy: costs and effectiveness in preventing perinatal transmission.

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National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA.



To estimate the incremental societal costs and effectiveness of a second human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) antibody test during the third trimester of pregnancy compared with no second test.


We used a decision tree in this cost-effectiveness analysis to model outcomes among pregnant women in high-risk communities and nationwide who received an initial, negative HIV antibody test during the first trimester. The main outcome measure was discounted costs per year of infant life saved.


In high-risk communities with estimated HIV incidence of 6.2 per 1000 person-years, a second HIV test compared with no second test would detect 192 infections in women, prevent approximately 37 infant infections, and save 655 infant life-years per 100,000 women tested. Net savings would be 5.2 million US dollars. Applied to an estimated national incidence of.17 per 1000 person-years, a second test would detect 5.3 infections in women, prevent 1.3 infant infections, and save 23.3 infant life-years per 100,000 women tested. Net costs would be 1.06 million US dollars, or 45,708 US dollars for each year of infant life saved. A second test would result in net savings in populations with HIV incidence of 1.2 per 1000 person-years or higher.


Health care providers serving women in communities with an HIV incidence of 1 per 1000 person-years or higher should strongly consider implementing a second voluntary universal HIV test during the third trimester. Providers serving lower-risk communities should pilot second testing to assess community-specific costs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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