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Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 2 (1994), Issue 1, Pages 25-29
Clinical Study

Prenatal Human Immunodeficiency Virus Testing and Patient Management by Obstetricians in a High Seroprevalence Community

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Box SL-11, Tulane University School of Medicine, 1430 Tulane Avenue, New Orleans 70112, LA, USA

Received 10 January 1994; Accepted 7 April 1994

Copyright © 1994 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective: In order to determine the practice habits of obstetricians concerning frequency of prenatal human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing and management strategies for HIV-seropositive obstetric patients, we conducted a telephone survey of practicing obstetricians over a 3-month period.

Methods: In the New Orleans metropolitan area, 71/104 (68%) obstetricians participated and completed the survey.

Results: Of these obstetricians, 43/71 (60.6%) test all new obstetric patients for HIV; 64/71 (84.5%) routinely ask the patients about risk factors for infection; and 28/71 (39.4%) have actually cared for an HIV-positive patient in their practice. Those obstetricians who routinely tested for HIV were more likely to have personally managed an infected patient and more likely to ask about risk factors. The number of obstetricians who would manage infected patients without consultative assistance was 8/71 (11%).

Conclusions: We concluded that obstetricians in this community have largely accepted routinely offered prenatal testing and risk assessment, but they have assumed a relatively small role in risk reduction counseling and treatment.