Purpose: To describe the initial experience of state mandated prenatal HIV screening at a large community hospital.
Methods: HIV screening was provided to all pregnant women as of October 1, 1999. All HIV-positive women identified received aggressive antiretroviral therapy to reduce the likelihood for vertical transmission. Neonates were screened for HIV at zero, six, and 12 months of age.
Results: Seven pregnant women (0.3%) and two additional family members tested positive for HIV. All seven infants born to the identified HIV-positive women have tested negative for infection. We estimated that six of nine cases of HIV infection identified would have been missed under a policy of voluntary HIV screening.
Conclusions: Universal screening for HIV in pregnancy is achievable and desirable and provides the best opportunity to minimize the number of new neonatal HIV infections.