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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.