Education And Debate

Commentary: Promoting testing is no substitute for recognising risk

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 24 January 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:295
  1. Noël Gill, consultant epidemiologist (
  1. a AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Disease Centre, PHLS Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre, London NW9 5EQ

    Given the continuing transmission of HIV infection in western Europe, preventing new infections and mitigating the effects of infections that have already occurred are major public health priorities. Testing blood donations for HIV has an established role in preventing transmission of the virus. In other areas of primary and secondary prevention, the case for large scale HIV testing is less clear.

    With the advent of effective measures to prevent mother to infant transmission, including the use of zidovudine in pregnancy for HIV infected women, there is a strong case for these women to have their infection diagnosed well before they give birth. In England, especially in London, much needs to be done to improve the situation; less than a quarter of …

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