Risk assessment is an important part of prenatal care, and counseling to reduce risk is a recommended component of prenatal care.
Approximately 30 percent of pregnant women in Illinois arrive in labor and delivery not knowing their HIV status. We know that without appropriate therapy in labor 25 percent of HIV women will transmit HIV to their infants. With appropriate therapy less than two percent will transmit HIV.
Never before has the elimination of perinatal HIV been so easily obtainable:
In August 2003, the Illinois Perinatal HIV Prevention Act (Public Act 93-0566) was signed into law.
The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has approved several HIV rapid testing devices.
There are proven, effective interventions if the maternal HIV status is known.
The Illinois Perinatal HIV Prevention Act mandates that all pregnant women be provided HIV counseling and offered HIV testing as early in their pregnancy as possible. If there is no documented maternal HIV test in the woman’s file upon arrival to the labor and delivery unit, counseling is to be provided, HIV testing offered and the results of the intervention are to be documented.
The FDA-approved rapid tests can be performed at point of care using blood from a finger stick or saliva.