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From Act to action: Rapid HIV testing in obstetric and newborn units in Illinois

Ann E. Bryant, MD, MSc1, Patricia Garcia, MD, MPH1, Yolanda Olszewski, MPH, MS2, and Mardge H. Cohen, MD2. (1) Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology/Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Northwestern University, 333 East Superior St. Suite 410, Chicago, IL 60611, 312 926-7518, abryant@md.northwestern.edu, (2) Cook County Hospital, 2020 W. Harrison St, Chicago, IL 60612

Issues: The Illinois Perinatal HIV Prevention Act mandates counseling and offering of HIV testing to all pregnant women in the state. Pregnant women with unknown HIV status presenting to hospitals for delivery must be identified, counseled, and offered rapid testing. If a patient declines testing, her newborn will be rapidly tested unless there is written refusal. Description: State and city health departments, the regional AIDS Training/Education Center, the statewide Perinatal Network System, advocacy groups, and academic health centers came together to implement rapid testing in every labor and delivery and nursery unit in Illinois. Lessons learned: Between 4-8 infants with HIV were born in Illinois each year for the last 5 years. Because of the new law, the Perinatal Rapid Testing Implementation in Illinois (PRTII) formed to develop a statewide implementation plan. PRTII secured funding through the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and conducted a statewide needs assessment. Surveys and focus groups were used to determine training and technical support needs and barriers to implementation. Pilot projects were conducted in diverse hospitals to develop training and quality assurance models to meet the new law and for rapid testing implementation. Recommendations: Coordinated efforts of government agencies, advocacy groups and academic centers combined with intensive training and implementation are necessary to make statewide public health policy initiatives a reality. Evaluation of the implementation process and its effectiveness as well as ongoing quality assurance at each hospital will be important to target future resources.

Learning Objectives: 1.To understand issues, obstacles and implementation of a statewide public health and health policy initiative.

  • To understand the diverse statewide groups including

    Keywords: Women and HIV/AIDS, Maternal and Child Health

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:
    I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

    HIV/AIDS Research Roundtable: Perinatal HIV Testing and Prevention

    The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA