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The evidence for a change in antenatal HIV screening policy in Australia.

Giles ML, Hellard ME, Lewin SR, Mijch AM

  • Journal The Medical journal of Australia

  • Published 21 Sep 2006

  • Volume 185

  • ISSUE 4

  • Pagination 217-20

  • DOI 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2006.tb00535.x


Australia is one of the few developed countries without routine antenatal HIV screening, despite having the resources to undertake such a screening program and the availability of antiretroviral therapy. National policy recommends that only women with identified risk factors should be offered testing; however, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists recommends that all pregnant women be offered HIV testing as part of their antenatal care. Knowledge of a woman's HIV status during pregnancy allows interventions to improve her health and reduce the risk of transmission of HIV to her child. A universal antenatal HIV screening program meets many of the Wilson and Jungner criteria for population-based screening programs. This should be considered in the current review of Australia's HIV testing policy.