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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1989 Jun;160(6):1316-20; discussion 1320-4.

Prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus in a general prenatal population.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Chicago 60657.


Controversy surrounds the issue of screening for the human immunodeficiency virus in pregnancy. The question remains: Which pregnant women should be tested? To answer this question, it is clear that local prevalence data of seropositivity must be known. At present, these figures are unavailable for midwestern metropolitan areas such as ours. Therefore an obstetric human immunodeficiency virus screening committee was formed to determine the prevalence of seropositivity of this virus in our obstetric clinic population. During a 14-month period of time all patients registering for prenatal care were offered human immunodeficiency virus antibody testing. A total of 585 out of 751 patients (78%) gave informed consent. Forty-two of these patients had risk factors for human immunodeficiency virus infection. The rate of seropositivity in this group was 7.1% (3 of 42). The remaining 543 patients had no risk factors and none of these patients had positive test results. From our preliminary results, screening only those prenatal patients with identified risk factors appears to be justified.

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