Publications & Reports

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

Giles ML, Hellard ME, Lewin SR, Mijch AM
Department of Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.


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.


  • Journal: The Medical Journal of Australia
  • Published: 21/08/2006
  • Volume: 185
  • Issue: 4
  • Pagination: 217-220