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Obstet Gynecol. 1991 Oct;78(4):678-80.

Determinants of acceptance of routine voluntary human immunodeficiency virus testing in an inner-city prenatal population.

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Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia.


Routine voluntary prenatal human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) counseling and testing offer the opportunity to encourage reduction of high-risk behaviors among uninfected women and to identify those women with asymptomatic HIV infection. To characterize the determinants of acceptance of routinely offered and encouraged HIV testing in inner-city parturients in Atlanta, we identified two groups of women, one that declined HIV testing and another that accepted testing. Each group was asked to complete a questionnaire designed to assess the effectiveness of pre-test counseling. During the 7-month study period, 4731 women registered for prenatal care and 4574 (97%) consented to HIV testing. Nearly all women stated that they were not pressured into having HIV testing performed. Women who accepted HIV testing were more likely to be young, black, and single (P less than .001) and less likely to have received education beyond high school (P less than .05). More accepters than decliners thought the HIV counseling session was valuable (97 versus 91%; P = .04); 55% of accepters agreed to antibody testing because of concern about the risk of transmitting HIV infection to their fetus or infant. More accepters than decliners indicated a willingness to have HIV testing in a future pregnancy (74 versus 33%; P less than .001). These data suggest that most inner-city parturients in our institution view routine voluntary HIV counseling as a valuable component of their prenatal care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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