The importance of HIV antenatal screening programs for pregnant women

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Abstract

Objectives: To investigate retrospectively the prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 and 2 among pregnant women during a 10-year period. Methods: The total number of pregnant women attending the Sultan Qaboos University Hospital (SQUH), Muscat, Oman between January 1995 and December 2005 was 11553 women. Their age range was 16-45 years (average of 28.6±7.6 years). The women were tested for HIV-1 and 2 using the standard enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Positive samples were further tested by Western Blot. The data were statistically analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences Version 10.0. Results: By ELISA testing, 21 women were positive for HIV-1 (prevalence rate: 0.2%) and 3 women were weakly positive for HIV-1 (24 women; 0.2% prevalence rate). However, 15 women were confirmed HIV-1 positive using the Western Blot method (prevalence rate: 0.13%) with an average of 1.5 positive women per year. None of the women were found positive for HIV-2. Conclusions: This relatively high prevalence of HIV-1 among pregnant women attending SQUH, highlights the need for screening all pregnant women attending different hospitals and antenatal clinics in Oman. This is essential for preventing the transmission of HIV-1 and 2 to the infants and to the community, and for the appropriate medical treatment and counseling of affected women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-68
Number of pages5
JournalSaudi Medical Journal
Volume31
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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