Is HIV testing during labor feasible?

Feb 27, 2009

Cameroon is a sub-Saharan African country with high HIV rates yet many pregnant women do not know their HIV status. Research published in the open access journal BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth has shown that HIV testing during labour is a suitable way of improving detection rates and may help mothers and their infants receive appropriate antiretroviral treatment.

Eugene Kongnyuy of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and his collaborators from the University of Yaounde I, Cameroon, investigated the acceptability of rapid HIV testing among 2413 women of unknown HIV status at four hospitals in the capital city, Yaounde. They found that 88.3% of the women were willing to accept HIV testing during labour. Furthermore, their study revealed a higher rate of HIV infection among women screened during labour (10.1%) than was previously estimated in a national health survey (6.8%) which, according to the authors, highlights the importance of HIV testing during labour.

About 3.2 million infants and young children worldwide are infected with HIV and in most cases the infection is a consequence of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT). Rapid HIV testing during labour or delivery represents the last opportunity for treatment before delivery to reduce MTCT. While this investigation has shown that HIV testing in the delivery room is feasible, it is nevertheless a challenging task especially in resource-constraint settings. The authors recommend "an opt-out approach for HIV testing during labour in Cameroon (i.e. women are informed that HIV testing will be routine during labour if HIV status is unknown but each person may decline to be tested). Such an approach will decrease the proportion of women who give birth with unknown HIV status and increase the number of mother-infant pairs who receive appropriate treatment for preventing MTCT of HIV".

The team propose that cost-effectiveness of HIV counselling and testing during labour is evaluated before the approach is implemented nationwide.

More information: Acceptability of intrapartum HIV counselling and testing in Cameroon, Eugene Kongnyuy, Enow Mbu, Francois Mbopi-Keou, Nelson Fomulu, Philip Nana, Pierre Tebeu, Rebecca Tonye and Robert Leke, BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth (in press), www.biomedcentral.com/bmcpregnancychildbirth/

Source: BioMed Central

Explore further: Cambodia orders probe into mass HIV infection

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Rich boys more competitive in economic experiments

Jul 04, 2014

Why do we make the choices that we do? Are we born this way or have we become this way? The behavioural economists are looking for answers by the use of economic and math exercises in the laboratory.

Some people think astrology is a science – here's why

Jul 02, 2014

Most people reading this article will have also read their horoscope at least once. Even though scientific studies have never found evidence for the claims astrologers make, some people still think astrology ...

The secret formula to successful online dating

Jun 19, 2014

If it seems as if everyone you know is online dating, you're not alone. According to recent surveys, more than 40m single people out of 54m singles in the US have signed up to an online dating site such as ...

Recommended for you

Cambodia orders probe into mass HIV infection

5 hours ago

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Thursday ordered a probe into an apparent mass HIV infection believed to have been spread by contaminated needles, as the number of suspected cases passed 100.

A fresh setback for efforts to cure HIV infection

18 hours ago

Researchers are reporting another disappointment for efforts to cure infection with the AIDS virus. Six patients given blood-cell transplants similar to one that cured a man known as "the Berlin patient" have ...

Cambodia village reports mass HIV/AIDS infection

Dec 16, 2014

Cambodian health authorities on Tuesday said more than 80 people—including children and the elderly—who tested positive for HIV/AIDS in a single remote village may have been infected by contaminated needles.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.