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Rapid HIV Testing Well-Suited to Antenatal Clinic Setting

Testing method is feasible, acceptable, and provides results faster than conventional test

MONDAY, July 13 (HealthDay News) -- Using rapid HIV testing is feasible and effective in an outpatient obstetric setting, and gives results faster than conventional testing, according to a study published in the July issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Naomi K. Tepper, M.D., of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion in Atlanta, and colleagues conducted a study, the Mother-Infant Rapid Intervention at Delivery (MIRIAD) study, at 17 hospitals in six U.S. cities (Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Chicago, Miami, New Orleans, and New York), in which 285 women had both conventional and rapid HIV testing.

In all, 90 percent of women offered the tests took them. The rapid HIV test produced results a mean 25 minutes after blood was drawn, compared to a mean 23 hours for conventional testing, and almost 96 percent of the rapid test results were available within one hour, the investigators found.

"With the recent publication of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' guidelines recommending HIV testing for all women of reproductive age, obstetrician-gynecologists will need to expand HIV testing opportunities in their outpatient practices," the authors write. "The MIRIAD study can serve as a model for how rapid HIV testing can be incorporated into outpatient obstetric-gynecologic practices, and the results of our analyses demonstrate that testing in this setting is acceptable and feasible."

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