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February 09, 2009

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 mailto:%20jreiter2@aha.org.

HRET and CDC Sponsor More Free Workshops on Perinatal HIV Testing

HRET and CDC Sponsor More Free Workshops on Perinatal HIV TestingHRET and CDC continue to host free workshops with local co-sponsors that share information on CDC HIV testing recommendations, point-of-care vs. laboratory testing, state laws, prophylaxis and treatment, referral and counseling, and reimbursement. Workshops are open to hospital staff in labor and delivery, nursery, emergency, laboratory, infectious disease, and pharmacy.

The next two workshops will take place at Woman’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, LA on March 9th and at the Desert Willow Conference Center in Phoenix, AZ on March 27th. Continuing education credits are pending for these workshops.

Previous workshops have successfully taken place in 2008 in Oakland, CA, Washington, DC, Baltimore, MD, Detroit, MI, and Miami, FL. Additional workshops will take place in different states this year. For more information on having a workshop in your state, contact Jennifer Reiter at jreiter2@aha.org or 312-422-2637. Keep an eye on this newsletter for announcements of upcoming workshops in a state near you.

Decline in Perinatal HIV Transmission Contributes to Decline in HIV Transmission Rates
The CDC recently published the latest surveillance statistics showing how declines in the rate of HIV transmission represent a major success in HIV prevention. The analysis found that the rate of HIV transmission has declined by 89% since the peak of the epidemic; just in this past decade, the transmission rate has declined by 33%. This represents a major success in HIV testing and prevention and has resulted in reductions in the percentage and number of persons with undiagnosed HIV infection. These data provide further evidence that prevention does work when we make HIV testing and effective interventions easily available.

One of the reports from the CDC states, “Stable incidence in recent years, as well as dramatic declines in mother-to-child HIV transmission and declines in new infections among injection drug users and heterosexuals, are also important signs of progress against this disease.”

To view these latest statistics from the CDC’s surveillance work and access fact sheets, podcasts, and additional resources, please visit the CDC’s HIV surveillance
Web site.

Call To Perinatal Hotline Results In Care For Woman, Baby
The National Perinatal HIV Hotline (888-448-8765) supports clinicians to provide the highest quality care to HIV-infected pregnant women and their infants. Recently the Perinatal HIV Hotline received a call regarding an HIV-positive woman with a 3-week old HIV-exposed newborn who intended to move across the country to a rural area. The patient required a provider for her infant and herself. Through the Perinatal HIV Clinicians network, she was connected with the local Ryan White program with an adult infectious diseases physician in her new town and a pediatric HIV program about an hour away. The pediatric infectious diseases program followed the infant for testing purposes and coordinated well-baby care with a local pediatrician.

California Becomes First State to Require HIV Testing Coverage
California recently became the first state to require every health care service plan and health insurer to provide coverage for HIV testing.

Assembly Bill 1894 was signed into law by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who pointed out the cost-effectiveness of providing coverage for testing compared to the cost of life-long treatment for someone who contracts HIV. The California Office of AIDS recently reported that 40,000 people in the state who are infected with HIV are unaware of that fact, leading to 2,500 to 5,000 new infections in the state each year. New federal data released in 2008 documented a 40% increase in HIV infections nationwide.

This new bill was passed in response to the 2006 revised HIV testing guidelines from the CDC.

Click here to read more about the new California law from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

FDA Approves New HIV Blood Test That Screens Blood, Tissue Donations for Less Common Strains
This past December, the FDA approved a new HIV test that screens for two forms of the virus that are less common in the U.S., in addition to the most common forms of HIV and hepatitis. The test is designed to screen blood and tissue samples from donors for infectious diseases.

The approved test - the TaqScreen MPX Test - is the first to be able to detect HIV-2 and HIV-1 Group O strains of the virus at the same time.

This test will allow blood donor testing laboratories to use nucleic acid technology to screen for additional HIV strains, further assuring that donated blood and tissue are free from infection.

To read more about the FDA’s approval of this test, visit their Web site.

HIV Prevention Materials for Women Available from NPIN
CDC’s National Prevention Information Network (NPIN) recently compiled a list of brochures, fact sheets, posters, and other materials about women and HIV/AIDs and other STDs.

You may print or order these materials from here.

In addition to materials on HIV and women, NPIN has resources on African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and MSMs available here.

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

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