Objectives: The overall readiness of Illinois birthing hospitals to comply with the 2003 Illinois HIV Perinatal Prevention Act and prevent perinatal HIV transmission, and the hospital characteristics that predict readiness were examined. Methods: Nurse Managers of all 137 Illinois birthing hospitals were surveyed regarding current labor and delivery (L&D) practices for HIV status identification, documentation, testing and zidovudine (AZT) availability in March 2004. Bivariate and multivariable regression analysis was performed. Results: All 137 hospitals returned the surveys. Almost forty seven percent of Illinois birthing hospitals had adequate maternal HIV status documentation on arrival in L&D, 72.3% documented prenatal HIV results in the L&D chart, 65.7% documented prenatal HIV in the newborn chart, 38.7% ordered HIV tests on L&D if no prenatal HIV status was available, and 61.3% had AZT available. Only 17 hospitals (12.4%) met requirements for overall readiness to prevent perinatal HIV transmission. Sixteen hospitals (11.6%) met a minimal level of readiness (prenatal HIV status documentation and AZT availability). Conclusions: Despite passage of legislation to increase perinatal HIV testing and reduce transmission, Illinois birthing hospitals had an overall low level of readiness to implement the intrapartum interventions that are an essential part of eradicating pediatric HIV infection. Perinatal reduction protocols and implementation guidelines would improve the overall readiness of Illinois birthing hospitals to prevent perinatal HIV transmission.
Perinatal HIV prevention Birthing hospitals Perinatal HIV legislation Perinatal HIV testing