November 19, 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 More Free Workshops on Perinatal HIV Testing
Approximately 144-236 infants per year acquire HIV infection through perinatal transmission in the U.S., and about 40% of their mothers were not tested until birth or later. These statistics are evidence of the need to implement HIV screening in labor and delivery units. HRET and CDC continue to put on free workshops 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 workshop takes place at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine on December 8th.

Mary Rose Forsyth
Mary Rose Forsyth of MATEC Michigan
Previous workshops have successfully taken place this year in Oakland, CA, Washington, DC, Baltimore, MD, and Detroit, MI. Louisiana and Arizona are just two of the states tapped to host workshops in 2009.

HRET and CDC are looking to sponsor more workshops in other states over the next two years. 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.

CDC Launches New Blog on HIV/AIDS and Related Prevention Research and Programs
This past September, the CDC launched a new blog called Health Protection Perspectives written by Dr. Kevin Fenton, Director of CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. The blog aims to be a forum for exchanging ideas on HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, and STD and TB prevention research and programs. The blog is part of CDC’s effort to reduce health disparities, increase program collaboration and service integration, and improve global health.

To join in on the conversation – the blog’s posts have been great exchanges thus far - visit the blog here.

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Recommends Routine, Opt-Out HIV Screening for All Women
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recently recommended routinely screening all women ages 19-64 for HIV, regardless of risk factors, unless the patient declines. These recommendations support CDC’s
Revised Recommendations for HIV Testing of Adults, Adolescents, and Pregnant Women in Health-Care Settings.

The ACOG committee on gynecologic practice writes that retesting "could be considered even in the absence of risk factors depending on clinical judgment and the patient's wishes because patients may be concerned about their status but not know about or want to disclose risk-taking behavior to their physicians.”

The opinion, "Routine Human Immunodeficiency Virus Screening," is available in Obstetrics & Gynecology (2008;112:401-403).

Southern-Focused AIDS Project Launched
The Southern AIDS Coalition and Test for Life have just launched a new effort to call attention to the HIV epidemic's impact on women and minorities in southern U.S. states. The project's Web site presents video stories of southern women living with HIV as well as guidance on HIV prevention and testing. The stories underscore the critical importance of making HIV screening a routine part of medical care in order to ensure earlier diagnosis and prevent the spread of the disease. The Web site provides links to valuable resources and fact sheets about the epidemic to empower those directly impacted to make informed health care decisions and to help others understand the power of knowing their HIV status.

To view the Web site, or “Living Quilt,” click

CDC Publishes HIV Prevalence Estimates For The United States
In October, the CDC published HIV prevalence estimates for the United States based on data through the end of 2006. Previously CDC had estimated that one in four individuals infected with HIV do not know their HIV status. Based on this new analysis, CDC now estimates that one in five do not know their status.

These new estimates are evidence of the need for increased and routine HIV testing as it plays a key role in reducing the impact of HIV and remains an essential first step in linking people living with HIV to medical care and ongoing support to help them maintain safer behaviors and reduce transmission.

To read the full estimates, click here.

Audio Sessions Now Available From amfAR and Texas/Oklahoma AIDS Education & Training Center’s Women and HIV Clinical Conference
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 listen to audio sessions from the conference, click

Study Reports Trends in Perinatal HIV Prevention in New York City, 1994-2003
A recent study looked at trends in perinatal HIV prevention interventions implemented from 1994 to 2003 in New York City to ascertain their success in reducing perinatal transmission.

A total of 4,729 perinatally HIV-exposed births were analyzed. Of mothers with prenatal care data, 92 percent had prenatal care. The overall proportion who received prenatal care and were diagnosed with HIV prior to delivery was 86 percent in 1994 to 1996 and 90 percent in 1997 to 2003. During 1997 to 2003, the perinatal HIV transmission rate among the total sample was seven percent; 45 percent of mothers of infected infants had missed opportunities for perinatal HIV prevention. Perinatal HIV transmission was significantly associated with lack of prenatal, intrapartum, and neonatal antiretrovirals, maternal illicit drug use, and low birth weight.

The authors summarized their findings by stating that, "Interventions for perinatal HIV prevention can successfully decrease HIV transmission rates. Ongoing perinatal HIV surveillance allows for monitoring the implementation of guidelines to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV and determining factors that may contribute to perinatal HIV transmission."

The study was published in the American Journal of Public Health Vol. 98; No. 10: P. 1857-1864 (10.08).

CDC Offers Post Doctoral Research Fellowships for HIV Prevention in Communities of Color

The CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (DHAP) is offering four two-year post-doctoral research fellowships: the 2009-2011 DHAP/ORISE Post-Doctoral Research Fellowships for HIV Prevention in Communities of Color. The mission of this fellowship program is to recruit, mentor, and train recently graduated doctoral-level researchers (with doctorates earned no earlier than May 2004 and no later than May 2009) in conducting research leading to the prevention of HIV infection in communities of color in the United States. The fellowships will begin August 1, 2009, and end August 1, 2011; the fellows will be located in various branches in DHAP at the CDC headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. Applications will be accepted from November 1, 2008 until December 31, 2008. More information about these fellowships and their application procedures and materials can be found here.

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

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