Perinatal Rapid HIV Testing

Rapid HIV Testing

Rapid HIV testing allows for preliminary diagnosis and treatment of HIV in labor. In Illinois, the Perinatal HIV Prevention Act serves as the legal basis for rapid HIV testing during pregnancy and mandates:

  • Opt-out rapid HIV testing be offered on labor and delivery to people without a documented HIV test from the third trimester of the current pregnancy (August 2017 amendment).
  • Mandatory rapid HIV testing of newborns to determine HIV-exposure if there is no documentation of parental HIV testing during the third trimester of pregnancy or at delivery (June 2006/August 2017 amendments).
  • Reporting of all preliminary positive rapid HIV tests on birthing parents and infants within 12 hours, but no later than 24 hours, of the test result to the 24/7 Illinois Perinatal HIV Hotline at 1-800-439-4079 to ensure medical consultation and linkage to case management (June 2006/August 2017 amendments).

If you are caring for a pregnant person with a positive rapid HIV test who is in labor or an infant exposed to HIV, see the 24/7 Illinois Perinatal HIV Hotline's step-by-step recommendations.

Expedited Confirmatory HIV Testing

The Illinois 24/7 Perinatal HIV Hotline offers expedited confirmatory HIV testing at Northwestern Memorial Hospital for calls reporting a preliminary positive rapid HIV test for which an urgent confirmatory HIV test result is needed for clinical decision making. The specimens are processed with a 4th generation HIV-1/2 antigen/antibody laboratory-based test with reflex to the HIV-1/HIV-2 antibody differentiation immunoassay, and the HIV-1 RNA assay (viral load) if needed for confirmation of HIV diagnosis.

  • If you require expedited confirmatory testing, you must first call the Illinois 24/7 Perinatal HIV Hotline at 1-800-439-4079.
  • All tests must be requested through the Hotline and ordered by a Hotline clinician or else they will not be processed.
  • See expedited confirmatory HIV testing for detailed information about testing schedule, specimen requirements and results.