Rapid HIV Test During Labor Gives Accurate Results
September 12, 2003
According to research published by CDC, rapid HIV-1 testing performed at the bedside in labor wards by non-laboratory hospital staff gives accurate results much faster than lab testing, meaning that HIV drugs can be given to the mother and newborn in time to reduce the baby's chances of infection.
Conducted during the first six months of 2002, the CDC-funded Mother Infant Rapid Intervention at Delivery (MIRAD) study took place in four Chicago hospitals with the city's highest caseload of HIV-positive women of childbearing age. In three of the hospitals, nurses, midwives, and physicians performed the OraQuick Rapid HIV Antibody Test onsite for consenting women of unknown HIV serostatus who were in labor. In the fourth hospital, blood samples from women in labor were sent to its 24-hour hospital laboratory for OraQuick rapid testing.
A total of 225 women were tested using point-of-care HIV testing, and 155 were tested relying on the laboratory. The average turnaround time for getting the results was 45 minutes for the three hospitals using point-of-care testing. This was four times shorter than the 3.5-hour turnaround time at the hospital using laboratory testing. The OraQuick test itself takes just 20-30 minutes to run.
At each hospital, OraQuick rapid test results were confirmed to be 100 percent accurate using standard lab tests, when needed.
Rapid testing identified three pregnant women as HIV-infected, and drug therapy was initiated during labor and delivery. None of the infants became HIV-infected.
"The proportion of women now testing for HIV in prenatal care is rising," said CDC's Dr. Marc Bulterys. "Still there is a subset of women who never get tested before they come to labor and delivery and this is really our last opportunity to do testing and start antiretroviral prophylaxis to try to prevent transmission," he said.
The MIRAD study results show that point-of-care HIV testing is feasible, the investigators concluded. They urge hospitals to "assess the costs and benefits of implementing point-of-care HIV testing within their institutions." The full report, "Rapid Point-of-Care Testing for HIV-1 During Labor and Delivery -- Chicago, Illinois, 2002," is published in this week's issue of CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (2003;52(36):866-868).
09.12.2003; Megan Rauscher
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.