Online Program

Routine HIV testing among pregnant Latinas in rural South Carolina, 2012

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Myriam E. Torres, PhD, MSPH, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Kenneth Dominguez, MD, MPH, Division of HIV/AIDs Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Madeline Sutton, MD, MPH, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Background: From 2000-2010, South Carolina's (SC) Latino population increased 148%; Latino births increased 656%. There was a 67% increase in Latinos diagnosed with HIV during 2004-2009; and Latinos are disproportionately affected by perinatal HIV transmission. Routine, opt-out HIV testing is recommended at the first prenatal visit, but data on this practice for pregnant Latinas in SC are limited. We assessed awareness and prevalence of prenatal HIV testing among pregnant Latinas.

Methods: Surveys were administered in six prenatal clinics by bilingual trained surveyors to consenting pregnant Latinas ≥18 years of age, within 10 days of the first prenatal visit. Questions explored demographic factors, and whether they had been offered and accepted an HIV test during their first prenatal visit.

Results: One hundred-seventy one Spanish-speaking pregnant Latinas were enrolled. The median age was 28 years and they had been in the United States a median of 7 years. Most women (70%) reported Mexico as their country of birth. Although providers reported they routinely tested all clients at the first prenatal visit, only 21 (12%) women reported having been tested. One hundred fifty-six (91.2%) reported not being offered an HIV test; of those, 6 (3.8%) were tested anyway; 147 (94%) said they would have accepted the test if offered, and 3 (1.9%) did not respond.

Conclusion: These findings underscore the need to strengthen provider-patient communications and ensure pregnant Latinas are better informed and educated regarding routine prenatal HIV testing. These efforts will strengthen HIV prevention strategies and decrease perinatal HIV transmission disparities.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the low prevalence of routine prentatal HIV screening among pregnant Latinas in rural South Carolina. Identify ways to strengthen provider-patient communication about routine prenatal HIV testing.

Keyword(s): Hispanic, HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked in the field of HIV/AIDs prevention and research for over 15 years. I also have provided clinical obstetrical care for almost 20 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.