What counseling and testing services must providers offer to pregnant women?

  • Prenatal care: Health care professionals must counsel all pregnant women about HIV and provide HIV testing as early in pregnancy as possible unless they decline or there is documentation that they were previously tested during the current pregnancy. Providers must explain that women may decline HIV testing, but that if they decline testing, HIV testing will be mandatory for the newborn.
  • Third trimester repeat HIV testing: As of January 1, 2018, healthcare professionals who provide healthcare services to pregnant women are required to give HIV counseling and provide repeat opt-out HIV testing during the third trimester, ideally by the 36th week of pregnancy. 
  • Labor and delivery:  As of January 1, 2018, any healthcare professional or hospital caring for a pregnant woman during labor or delivery is required to offer counseling and opt-out rapid HIV testing if that pregnant woman does not have a documented third trimester HIV test. Testing is not required if the pregnant woman has a documented negative HIV test from the third trimester of the current pregnancy or is already documented to be living with HIV. Providers must explain that women may decline HIV testing, but that if they decline testing, HIV testing will be mandatory for their newborn.
  • After delivery: If there is no documentation of maternal HIV testing during the third trimester or at delivery, then mandatory rapid HIV testing of the newborn, as soon as possible within medical standards to determine HIV-exposure, is required. The mother’s or guardian’s consent is not required to test the newborn.