Human immunodeficiency virus infection continues to spread among women of childbearing age in the United States, and is occurring in rural as well as urban areas. With the increasing heterosexual spread of HIV, previously defined risk behaviors for HIV infection incompletely identify women found to be infected. The predominant risk behavior for HIV infection in many women is unprotected sexual intercourse. Perinatal HIV infection has mirrored the increases in HIV infection in women. With the availability of an intervention to reduce perinatal transmission of HIV, there is clear rationale for universal education and routine HIV testing of all women entering prenatal care. The persisting occurrence of PCP in young infants despite the availability of effective prophylactic regimens indicates that the identification and treatment of HIV infection in infants at an early age remains inadequate. Testing programs for HIV antibody must be confidential, voluntary, and accompanied by cultural and ethnically appropriate information regarding HIV infection. Such programs should be universally available.
- Copyright © 1995 by the American Academy of Pediatrics