Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 10, Issue 5, pp 413–417 | Cite as

HIV Testing Among U.S. Women During Prenatal Care: Findings from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth

Brief Report


Objectives: To measure progress toward the US Public Health Service recommended goal that HIV screening be part of the routine battery of prenatal tests for all pregnant women, using data from a nationally-representative reproductive health survey. Methods: Data from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) measure self-reported prenatal HIV testing for all women who had a completed pregnancy in the 12 months before interview. We estimated the percentage with a prenatal test for categories defined by major socio-economic groups, HIV risk, knowledge of HIV treatment, and access to health care. Results: Sixty-nine percent of 748 recently pregnant women reported receiving a prenatal HIV test. The percentage tested was significantly higher for women with incomes below 300% of the poverty level (76%) and women who reported some degree of HIV risk (82%), suggesting that prenatal care providers offer and encourage testing based on perceived risk, even though universal HIV screening is recommended. Testing was also higher among women with knowledge of interventions to prevent perinatal HIV transmission (74%), suggesting that more public information on these treatments might be helpful. Conclusions: A national estimate indicates that nearly one in 3 recently pregnant women reported they were not tested for HIV during prenatal care. Studies showing that prenatal testing for other infectious diseases can approach 100% suggest that a similar level of testing is attainable for perinatal HIV screening, particularly if it is incorporated into the routine package of prenatal tests and procedures offered to all pregnant women.


HIV testing Prenatal care Preventing vertical transmission 



The 2002 NSFG was planned and funded jointly by the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and nine other agencies and programs of the US Department of Health and Human Services. The interviewing and other tasks were carried out by the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research under a contract with the National Center for Health Statistics.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of HIV/AIDS PreventionCenters for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA

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