A randomised controlled trial of different approaches to universal antenatal HIV testing: uptake and acceptability. Annex: Antenatal HIV testing - assessment of a routine voluntary approach

Simpson WM, Johnstone FD, Boyd FM, Goldberg DJ, Hart GJ, Gormley SM, Hamilton BA
Record ID 31999008420
Authors' objectives:

With increasing optimism about the benefits of antenatal HIV testing, particularly in terms of measures that greatly reduce the risk of infection to the baby, there is a demand for effective, acceptable testing programmes and appropriate patient information. This randomised controlled trial (RCT) was designed to compare different ways of offering testing to all pregnant women, with the aim of acquiring information about what predicts uptake and how women respond to the offer of testing, in order to define the optimal approach.

Authors' recommendations: Contrary to the view of many healthcare providers, women had a positive attitude towards being offered HIV testing in pregnancy and the offer did not create undue anxiety or dissatisfaction, nor was it inappropriately time-consuming. Moreover, the type and extent of information given to pregnant women about HIV testing affected their knowledge but not whether they took the test. These findings indicate that the length or style of presentation to pregnant women is immaterial, although it is important that the benefits of testing for the baby are stressed. Instead, the focus of research and policy-making should be on the midwives, as their attitudes are likely to be more important in determining uptake. Uptake rates were much lower than those reported in other European countries, and among those offered an HIV test only one of the two previously unknown HIV-positive women agreed to be tested. So, although women find the test offer acceptable, it seems that this approach to offering the test, in which women are given information and then asked whether or not they want the test, is not an effective way of achieving high uptake and detection rates.
Authors' methods: Randomised controlled trial
Project Status: Completed
URL for project: http://www.hta.ac.uk/906
Year Published: 1999
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: England, United Kingdom
MeSH Terms
  • HIV Infections
  • Mass Screening
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Diagnosis
Organisation Name: NIHR Health Technology Assessment programme
Contact Address: NIHR Journals Library, National Institute for Health and Care Research, Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre, Alpha House, University of Southampton Science Park, Southampton SO16 7NS, UK
Contact Name: journals.library@nihr.ac.uk
Contact Email: journals.library@nihr.ac.uk
Copyright: 1999 Queen's Printer and Controller of HMSO
This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.