Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection Considering Plan to Offer Rapid HIV Tests to Pregnant Women
August 18, 2005
Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection is considering a plan to offer rapid HIV testing to pregnant women when they arrive at a hospital for delivery in order to reduce the risk of mother-to-child HIV transmission, the South China Morning Post reports. "If the mothers turn out to be positive, there is still an opportunity to (treat) the women and their unborn babies," Raymond Ho Lei-ming, the center's senior medical officer, said. Hong Kong initiated a prenatal screening program in September 2001 and tests about 40,000 pregnant women annually. Ho also said that 70 new HIV cases were recorded in Hong Kong during the second quarter of 2005, bringing the total number of cases to 2,647 since monitoring began in 1985. He said men who have sex with men and injection drug users remain a concern in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The government plans to make HIV testing available in methadone clinics to target injection drug users, but no government programs have been planned to reach MSM, according to Ho (Benitez, South China Morning Post, 8/17).
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