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Welcome to this issue of Preventing Perinatal HIV Transmission: Field Update. You are receiving this newsletter because you expressed an interest in perinatal HIV prevention in hospitals or have signed up to receive it. This quarterly email newsletter connects its subscribers to news updates, trends, statistics, prevention programs, policy initiatives, tools, and useful practices relating to perinatal HIV prevention in U.S. hospitals.  The Health Research and Educational Trust (HRET), with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), produces this newsletter as a forum for information dissemination and for communication among and between hospital staff, HIV experts, and researchers.  


For more information on HRET’s Perinatal HIV Prevention project, please visit our website.


If you have comments or suggestions for future issues of this newsletter, please contact Jennifer Reiter at


ACOG and AMCHP Webcast on HIV Testing for Pregnant Women Available to View

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and The Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs co-hosted a webcast on HIV Testing for Pregnant Women on Monday, July 10th.  The guest panel included speakers from CDC, NIH, AIDS Alliance for Children, other national organizations, and physicians who treat HIV-positive pregnant women. 


To view this archived webcast, please click here.


CDC’s HIV Web Site Now Available in Spanish

Please click here to access the site in Spanish. 


In addition, CDC will be completely renovating their perinatal HIV prevention web site in the coming months.  Please check their web site frequently for updates. 

Twelfth Annual Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology (MCH EPI) Conference Call for Abstracts due September 5
Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology (MCH EPI) conference organizers invite you to join MCH professionals in sharing experiences, enhancing knowledge, and generating new ideas for improved MCH data use and informed policymaking.  The MCH EPI Conference will be held from December 6-8, 2006 at the Omni Hotel at CNN Center in Atlanta.  Graduate students are encouraged to submit abstracts and to learn more about MCH epidemiology practice at the state and local levels by attending the conference. The deadline for submitting abstracts is 11:00 pm EST, September 5, 2006. No late abstracts will be considered.

Please visit the conference’s web site for further information.

CDC Finds a 95% Decline in Perinatal AIDS Cases Since 1992
Cases of perinatally acquired AIDS in the U.S. declined 95% from 1992-2004 to 48, one of the most resounding successes in the nation’s HIV prevention efforts, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Implementation of recommendations for universal prenatal HIV testing, antiviral prophylaxis, elective caesarean delivery, and avoidance of breastfeeding are credited with reducing the risk for perinatal HIV transmission from an HIV-infected mother to less than 2%.  Continued success will require sustained commitment to prevention of HIV infection among women and to treatment for women affected by HIV/AIDS. 

Illinois Signs into Law a Bill Requiring HIV Tests for Newborns
Last month, Governor Rod Blagojevich signed legislation requiring HIV testing for every newborn baby in Illinois when the status of the mother is not known. The law takes effect immediately.

In 2004, the state created a voluntary HIV testing program, Perinatal Rapid Testing Implementation in Illinois (PRTII).  According to program administrators, 98 percent of new mothers know their HIV status before they leave the hospital, up from 72 percent at the start of the program.  The task force monitoring PRTII said just 1.9 percent of 13,205 babies born in Illinois last December went untested.

Targeted Outreach for Pregnant Women Act (TOPWA) Helps Cut Infant HIV Rates in Florida
In 1998, Florida's Legislature established the Targeted Outreach for Pregnant Women Act (TOPWA), an effort to find women of child-bearing age at risk for HIV or addiction and, if necessary, help them deliver healthy babies.  Initially, the act allocated $100,000 for agencies in the most populated counties: Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Broward, Hillsborough, and Orange.  With additional federal subsidies, TOPWA covers 12 Florida counties today.

In Palm Beach County, where Families First runs TOPWA, the program has five outreach workers and a budget of $165,000.  Since TOPWA was passed, rapid HIV testing, antiretroviral therapies, caesarian birth, and other medical interventions have helped reduce state HIV cases among those under age two from 113 in 1992 to four in 2004.

Recent Report Examines How HIV/AIDS Affects Women

Women and HIV, a report from the National Women's Health Resource Center, discusses the challenges women face in protecting themselves from contracting HIV/AIDS.  This document also examines women's HIV/AIDS treatment-seeking behaviors and how the virus affects pregnancy. Physical and psychological differences between how men and women are affected by HIV/AIDS are also discussed.   


Study Highlights the Benefits of Antiretroviral Therapy Over Ten Years

This recently published study found that four eras of increasingly effective ART in addition to prophylaxis resulted in per-person survival increases of 7.81, 11.05, 11.57, and 13.33 years, compared with the absence of treatment. Treatment for patients with AIDS in care in the United States since 1989 has yielded a total

survival benefit of 2.8 million years.


The study concludes that at least 3.0 million years of life have been saved in the United States as a direct result of care of patients with AIDS, highlighting the significant advances made in HIV disease treatment.


Click here to view the article in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.


Study Finds that Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) Significantly Reduces the Number of Opportunistic Infections in HIV-Positive Infants

According to a study published in the July 19 issue of JAMA, Philimon Gona, a research assistant and professor of mathematics and statistics at Boston University, and colleagues examined a database of 2,767 HIV-positive children undergoing HAART who were enrolled in a study conducted from September 2000 through December 2004.  The researchers compared the data on the 2,767 children with the incidence of opportunistic infections among 3,331 HIV-positive children enrolled in a separate study from October 1988 through August 1998, which is before HAART was widely used.  The JAMA study finds that the incidence of opportunistic infections in the HAART group, compared with the study group not receiving HAART, decreased between twofold and 14-fold.


Please click here to read the findings in JAMA.


Field Operations Consultant Positions Available at the Department of State Health Services in Austin, Texas

Field Operations Consultants are responsible for ensuring that organizations which enter into a written agreement with the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to provide HIV, STD and HCV programs deliver services that are consistent with the needs of the population to be served, and are in accordance with State and Federal mandates and program requirements.  Consultants ensure compliance with these requirements through formal site reviews, technical assistance visits and desktop reviews.  Consultants work under minimal supervision, with considerable latitude for the exercise of independent initiative, judgment, and action. 


To find out more about these positions, find the job title by looking under the Department of State Health Services on the web site of Texas’s Health and Human Services Job Center.