HIV Testing for Pregnant Women Increases Slowly

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HIV-positive women are less likely to give the virus to their offspring if they are treated with AZT during pregnancy. However, a recent study by the CDC also shows that in 1999, approximately 40 percent of pregnant women did not get tested for HIV.

In 1995, the U.S. Public Health Service issued guidelines recommending that all pregnant women choose to be tested for HIV. Since then, HIV-testing rates for pregnant women have risen; while 41 percent of pregnant women were tested for HIV in 1995, 56 percent were tested in 1999. This study did not investigate women’s reasons for being tested or not being tested, but some demographic data emerged. Women who had never been married, who were between the ages of 18 and 24, who lived in the South, who had health insurance, or who were unemployed, were more likely to be tested.


The National Women’s Health Information Center, August 2; The American Journal of Public Health, August 2001

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