Preventing Perinatal HIV Transmission Newsletter: Field Update Banner Logo
November 14, 2007
Preventing Perinatal HIV Transmission Newsletter: Field Update Banner Logo

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 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
Web site.

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

HRET Embarks on New CDC Perinatal HIV Screening Project
HRET has been awarded a cooperative agreement from the CDC to continue educational work aiming to eliminate perinatal HIV transmission. The objective of this new project is to increase the number of hospitals working to eliminate perinatal HIV transmission, particularly by using rapid screening in labor and delivery for women with undocumented HIV status.

The project has four components:

  • Workshops: Free 1.5-day workshops will be held in conjunction with state/metro hospital associations training hospital staff on how to design and conduct a program to implement rapid-screening HIV tests. There may be up to 50 people at each workshop, and they will be open to staff from labor and delivery, nursery, emergency, laboratory, infectious disease, and pharmacy. Issues to be discussed will include viability of testing at the point of care vs. in the laboratory, coordinating inventory of tests, reimbursement, coordinating supply of ARVs, quality control, and training current, new, and agency staff.

  • Individual technical assistance: HRET will offer free training through conference calls or site visits for up to 12 hospitals, hospital associations, or public health departments that need individual assistance.

  • Learning Collaboratives (LCs): Three tailored Learning Collaboratives with two representatives each from several hospitals will be conducted. The Learning Collaboratives will involve both in-person meetings and conference calls each year. Possible affinity groups include safety-net, rural hospitals, independent communities, hospitals serving primarily African-American, Hispanic, or Asian populations, and those in multi-site systems. Each LC will have a listserv.

Our CDC-funded partner organizations are:

  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)
  • National Black Alcoholism & Addiction Council (NBAC)
  • University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ/François-Xavier Bagnoud Center (FXBC)

Keep up to date on the latest news from the project by visiting our Web site.

The National HIV/AIDS Clinicians’ Consultation Center Updates Compendium of State HIV Testing Laws
The National HIV/AIDS Clinicians’ Consultation Center (NCCC), a component of the AIDS Education and Training Centers (AETC) program, recently released its revised and updated 2007 online state HIV testing laws compendium. The compendium describes each state’s laws and policies on HIV testing in clinical settings. Since the release of the CDC’s “Revised Recommendations for HIV Testing in Adults, Adolescents, and Pregnant Women in Health Care Settings” in September 2006, many states have updated their HIV testing laws. Understanding individual state laws can be essential when providing testing and counseling services to patients and in implementing routine HIV testing programs. In addition to the updated laws, the compendium includes a reference guide to each state’s laws, definitions of key HIV testing terms, and a link to the CDC recommendations. Individual state profiles can be accessed from an easy-to-use map on the Web site.

To access the NCCC’s map of state HIV testing laws, click here.

NASTAD Releases Findings from an Assessment of Health Department Efforts to Implement HIV Screening in Health Care Settings
In February 2007, the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) released a survey to the health departments in all 65 states, territories, and cities funded by the CDC for HIV prevention efforts. NASTAD conducted this assessment in an effort to gain an understanding of health department efforts to implement and support HIV screening programs. The survey was also intended to examine the extent to which the CDC’s revised recommendations on HIV testing from September 2006 have influenced or will influence health department efforts to implement HIV screening in health care settings.

To read the report, click here.

Study Finds That HIV Has Declined Among U.S. Newborns
CDC researchers reported this October that there has been an estimated 80% decline in the number of infants born with HIV infection in the U.S during the past decade. However, researchers stress that despite this progress, eliminating mother-to-child HIV transmission will prove increasingly difficult as the number of women living with HIV infection in the U.S. continues to grow. The CDC study estimates that 280 to 370 infants were born infected with HIV in the U.S. in 2000. The figure represents a 79% to 84% decrease from the peak rate of infections in 1991, estimated at 1,760 infants. Experts attribute this decline to increases in voluntary HIV counseling and testing of pregnant women and the use of antiretroviral therapies to greatly reduce the rate of mother-to-child HIV transmission.

To view resources from the CDC on preventing perinatal HIV transmission, visit their Web site.

New Findings Released on Implementing Routine HIV Testing and the Role of State Law
Researchers from California have published findings on the frequent disconnect between a state’s laws on HIV testing and the September 2006 recommendations of the CDC (routine HIV testing for all Americans aged 13–64). The conflict arises between state requirements concerning pretest counseling and informed consent for HIV testing and CDC’s recommendations, which would eliminate requirements for written consent and pretest counseling.

The survey’s findings demonstrate that the majority of states have HIV testing requirements that are inconsistent with the CDC's recommendations. Furthermore, states that have recently amended their laws have not changed the requirements for pretest counseling and informed consent.

To read the full article, click here.

New JAMA Article Shows Association Between Rates of HIV Testing and Elimination of Written Consent
A new article has been published about the San Francisco Department of Public Health Medical Care System’s experience with eliminating written consent – but still obtaining informed consent - to test for HIV. In May 2006, the system eliminated the requirement in order to align itself with the recent CDC guidelines intending to streamline HIV testing.

Results from the study show that testing for HIV steadily increased over seven months. The authors conclude that their findings are consistent with increases in HIV testing associated with policy changes simplifying the process of obtaining informed consent to test for HIV testing.

The citation for the article is: "Association Between Rates of HIV Testing and Elimination of Written Consents in San Francisco,"
Journal of the American Medical Association Vol. 297; No. 10: 1061-1062 (03.14.07): Nicola M. Zetola, MD; Jeffrey D. Klausner, MD, MPH; Barbara Haller, MD, PhD; Patricia Nassos, PhD; Mitchell H. Katz, MD. Releases Tutorial on Women and HIV/AIDS in the U.S., an online resource from the Kaiser Family Foundation, includes a variety of research and policy resources, including a new tutorial of women and HIV/AIDS.

This helpful PowerPoint presentation with audio voiceover addresses the growing impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on American women. Key trends and information on access to treatment and testing are presented.

To access this tutorial, click here.

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