Why is CDC recommending that all pregnant women be tested for HIV?

Armen Hareyan's picture

There are now medical therapies available to lower the chance of an HIV-infected pregnant woman passing HIV to her infant before, during, or after birth. ZDV (zidovudine, also known as AZT or Retrovir) is the only drug which has been proven to reduce perinatal transmission. Refer to the Public Health Service Task Force Recommendations for Use of Antiretroviral Drugs in Pregnant HIV-1-Infected Women for Maternal Health and Interventions to Reduce Perinatal HIV-1 Transmission in the United States for more information.

HIV testing and counseling provides an opportunity for infected women to find out if they are infected and to gain access to medical treatment that may help to delay disease progression. It also allows them to make informed choices during delivery that can prevent transmission to their infant. For women who are not infected, HIV counseling provides an opportunity to learn important prevention information to reduce the possibility of future exposures. For more information, refer to the CDC Revised Recommendations for HIV Screening of Pregnant Women.



Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention
Divisions of HIV/AIDS Prevention