August 27, 2008

Preventing Perinatal HIV Transmission Newsletter: Field Update Banner Logo

Welcome to this issue of Preventing Perinatal HIV Transmission: Field Update. You are receiving this newsletter because you have attended one of HRET’s workshops on implementing rapid HIV testing, 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 & 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
Web site.

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

HRET and CDC Sponsor Free Workshops on Perinatal HIV Testing
HRET and CDC are sponsoring a free upcoming workshop in Miami on September 8 for hospitals interested in implementing rapid HIV testing in labor and delivery units. The daylong workshop will include information on CDC HIV testing recommendations, point-of-care vs. laboratory testing, state laws, prophylaxis and treatment, referral and counseling, and reimbursement. The workshop is open to hospital staff in labor and delivery, nursery, emergency, laboratory, infectious disease, and pharmacy. This workshop is part of a larger partnership with CDC.

HRET and CDC Sponsor Free Workshops The first of these workshops have successfully taken place this summer in Oakland, CA, Washington, DC, and Baltimore, MD.

Additionally, HRET and CDC are looking to sponsor more workshops in other states. For more information on having a workshop in your state, contact Joan Miller at or 312-422-2619. Keep an eye on this newsletter for announcements of upcoming workshops in a state near you.

ACOG Releases Perinatal HIV Toolkit
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recently put online their perinatal HIV toolkit called “Reducing HIV/AIDS in Babies and Improving the Health of Pregnant Women with HIV/AIDS.” The toolkit is for state legislators and health lobbyists, maternal and child health and HIV/AIDS advocates, and anyone else interested in understanding the issues surrounding prenatal and perinatal HIV testing. It also contains information about current national testing guidance.

To view the toolkit, click
here. To receive a hard copy of the toolkit, email

CDC Releases HIV Incidence Estimates For the U.S.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has just released the HIV incidence estimates for the United States from the first national HIV incidence surveillance system of its kind worldwide. These incidence estimates are based on direct measurement of new HIV infections and will provide the clearest picture to date of the number of new HIV infections in a year.

CDC has been working for several years to plan, establish, and evaluate this critical surveillance system, which has now undergone rigorous scientific review. Thanks to this thorough process, estimates have been made that are reliable and scientifically sound.

Incident infections decreased to 55,000 per year in the most recent intervals of the study (2000-2002 and 2003-2006). Incidence among males mirrored this trend, but among females, incidence increased more slowly until the late 1980s, decreased toward the early 1990s, and then remained relatively stable.

To view the article in JAMA, click here (subscription required). CDC has also developed a fact sheet on HIV/AIDS surveillance.

amfAR and Texas/Oklahoma AIDS Education & Training Center Co-sponsor Women and HIV Clinical Conference in Dallas
This past spring, amfAR and the Texas/Oklahoma AIDS Education & Training Center co-sponsored a clinical conference on women and HIV with sessions on the medical, social, and policy implications of caring for HIV-positive women. The conference also offered attendees a detailed picture of the latest thinking on treatment, care, and advocacy.

Speakers at the Dallas conference discussed topics ranging from the aging of the HIV-infected population in the time of Viagra, antiretroviral therapy in women, domestic violence, and opportunistic infections, to substance abuse, women’s inclusion in clinical trials, racial and ethnic disparities in treatment, drug resistance, and life planning strategies for prenatally infected adolescents.

To view presentations from conference, click

Rapid Testing Can Be Done in Busy Labor and Delivery Units Finds Study From India
When planning to implement rapid HIV testing in labor and delivery, hospitals often worry how testing can be successfully given to all women in a busy unit. A recent study published in PLoS Medicine found that it is feasible to introduce a program of round-the-clock rapid HIV testing, including prepartum and postpartum counseling sessions.

For this study, Nitika Pant Pai of the division of infectious diseases at McGill University's Health Center and colleagues administered both an oral HIV test and a traditional blood test to 1,222 pregnant women during a nine-month period in the labor ward of the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences in India. Of all the participants, about 82% had never taken an HIV test. Eleven women were found to be HIV-positive. Thanks to antiretroviral drugs the women were given, ten babies survived and tested negative for HIV.

These findings build on those from CDC’s MIRIAD trial in the U.S. which also showed that rapid testing can be conducted successfully in hospital settings. Both sets of results show strong support for implementing rapid HIV testing in labor and delivery. To read the study, click here.

Kaiser Family Foundation Updates Its Women and HIV/AIDS Fact Sheet
The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) recently updated its fact sheet on women and HIV/AIDS. The document provides the latest data on key trends and current cases, as well as information on HIV transmission patterns and access to care.

Research suggests that women with HIV experience disparities in accessing health care, relative to men. Although men continue to represent the majority of new HIV and AIDS cases in the U.S., the percentage of HIV diagnoses that are in women continues to rise. In 1985, women represented 8% of AIDS diagnoses while today they account for 27%.

To read the fact sheet, click here.

HRET - One North Franklin - Chicago, IL 60606 - (312) 422-2600 - (312) 422-4568

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