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This Week In The Bmj

Routine HIV tests in pregnancy are acceptable to women

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 19 June 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:e

The benefits of testing pregnant women for HIV are clear, but uptake of testing in Britain remains low. In Edinburgh, Simpson et al (p 1660) assessed the inclusion of HIV testing as one of the routine blood tests at time of booking, with an easy mechanism for refusal. Of the 924 pregnant women invited to take part, 88% agreed to be tested; those who declined did not seem to do so because of high risk status. A questionnaire completed by 99% of all the pregnant women suggested that 88% favoured routine testing for HIV. Compared with participants in an opt-in study conducted previously, the women were less anxious and more knowledgeable about prevention of HIV transmission.

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