Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Two is Too Many

As reported in a Medical News Today article, the South Dakota Department of Health announced that two infants born in the state last year tested HIV-positive. They are now strongly recommending routine HIV testing among pregnant women.

We all learned today that mother-to-child transmission of HIV is a common way to pass the virus. However, if many other states follow the lead of one South Dakota medical center, Sanford Health, maybe this won’t be as much of a problem. They have already implemented a policy of screening pregnant women for the virus (while still allowing them to opt out).

One medical officer said that screening is “inexpensive, part of a routine blood test and typically covered by insurance.” They say that administering HIV treatment to pregnant women can reduce the infant's risk of contracting HIV to less than 1%.

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