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BJOG. 2005 Mar;112(3):370-1.

HIV seropositive in pregnant South African women who initially refuse routine antenatal HIV screening.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Johannesburg Hospital, University of Witwatersrand Medical School, Johannesburg 2193, South Africa.


This study was instituted primarily to determine the HIV seroprevalence of pregnant South African women who refused routine HIV testing at the antenatal clinic of the Johannesburg Hospital, South Africa. Fifty such patients were identified, who, after being fully counselled and informed, agreed to participate in the study, provided total anonymity was adhered to: they did not want to know their results, irrespective of outcome. Blood specimens were given a laboratory reference number only, with no other reference to the patient and analysed utilising the ELISA immunoassay. Twenty-two of the 50 blood specimens, or 44% of patients analysed, tested positive for HIV. This is an alarming statistic, as the HIV prevalence in the general antenatal population at the Johannesburg Hospital is 29.4%.

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