Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 16, Issue 9, pp 1748–1753 | Cite as

Educating Health Professionals in Obstetrics and Gynecology Regarding Rapid Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Testing in Labor and Delivery: A Local Initiative

  • Judy Levison
  • Lena T. Williams
  • Anna Moore
  • Jenny McFarlane
  • Jessica A. Davila


Although, the Centers for Disease Control and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have advised rapid HIV testing for laboring women of unknown human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) status since 2004 to ensure that results are known prior to delivery, physicians and hospital staff have been slow to follow the recommendation. A multi-component intervention was implemented to educate physicians and hospital staff. There was low baseline knowledge (<50% correct) in the areas of HIV prevalence, use of rapid testing in the prevention of perinatal HIV transmission, and treatment. On 9 out of 14 items, participants demonstrated a >35% increase in correct responses from pre-test to 3 month post-test. Baseline knowledge among obstetric health care providers about how to diagnose and treat newly diagnosed pregnant women was low. Brief exposure to an educational program yielded a marked increase in knowledge that was sustained over 3 months. Educating health professionals in obstetrics and gynecology regarding rapid human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing in Labor and Delivery: A local initiative.


Physician education Prenatal HIV testing Prevention of perinatal HIV transmission Rapid HIV testing 



Funding for this project came from the Texas Department of State Health Services, Division of HIV, STD, and TB, Austin, TX.


  1. 1.
    Cooper, E. R., Charurat, M., Mofenson, L., Hanson, I. C., Pitt, J., Diaz, C., et al. (2002). Combination antiretroviral strategies for the treatment of pregnant HIV-1-infected women and prevention of perinatal HIV-1 transmission. JAIDS: Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 29(5), 484. Available from:
  2. 2.
    Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General. (2002). Reducing obstetricians barriers to offering HIV testing. Accessed April 27, 2010.
  3. 3.
    Centers for Disease Control, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. (2008). Texas–2008 profile. Accessed April 18, 2010.
  4. 4.
    Branson, B. M., Handsfield, H. H., Lampe, M. A., Janssen, R. S., Taylor, A. W., & Clark, J. E. (2006). Revised recommmendations for testing of adults, adolescents, and pregnant women in the health care setting. Accessed January 1, 2009.
  5. 5.
    Centers for Disease Control. (2011). HIV/AIDS among women. Accessed October 1, 2011.
  6. 6.
    Texas Department of State Health Services. (2008). 2008 Annual report: Texas HIV/STD surveillance report. Accessed January 10, 2009.
  7. 7.
    American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2004). ACOG committee opinion #304, November 2004: Prenatal and perinatal human immunodeficiency testing: Expanded recommendations. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 104(5 Pt 1), 1119–1124.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Levison, J., Williams, L. T., Moore, A., McFarlane, J., & Davila, J. (2010). Increasing use of rapid HIV testing in labor and delivery among women with no prenatal care: A local initiative. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 15(6), 822–826.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Glanz, K., Rimer, B. K., Viswanath, K., et al. (2008). Health behavior and health education (4th ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: W. H. Freeman.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Shadish, W. R., Cook, T. D., & Campbell, D. T. (2002). Experimental and quasi-experimental designs for genrealized causal inference. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Judy Levison
    • 1
  • Lena T. Williams
    • 2
  • Anna Moore
    • 3
  • Jenny McFarlane
    • 4
  • Jessica A. Davila
    • 2
  1. 1.Departments of Obstetrics/Gynecology and Family Medicine and Community MedicineBaylor College of Medicine, Northwest Health CenterHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Medicine Health Services ResearchBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA
  3. 3.The Harris County Hospital DistrictHoustonUSA
  4. 4.Texas Department of State Health ServicesAustinUSA

Personalised recommendations