FAQs

The Hotline is a resource for perinatal care providers working with pregnant HIV-positive women and their newborns. It provides immediate medical and social service consultation and links pregnant HIV-positive women and their newborns to care during pregnancy and the postpartum period. It is available to the entire state of Illinois - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - and is funded by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
The Hotline primarily serves medical and social service providers. Women who are HIV-positive and pregnant are also encouraged to call for information and linkage to services.

Rates of perinatal transmission of HIV can be reduced to less than 1% if pregnant HIV-infected women are in care and receive optimal treatment. The Perinatal HIV Hotline is one component of the statewide safety net of services designed to identify pregnant HIV-infected women and link them to care. The Hotline was developed to act as a lynchpin of the safety net offering medical consultation, activating enhanced case management to link women to care, and providing support and follow-up for rapid HIV testing in labor and delivery units.

The Illinois Department of Public Health has partnered with the Pediatric AIDS Chicago Prevention Initiative and other organizations to develop a statewide safety net for perinatal HIV designed to identify and link to care pregnant HIV-infected women who might otherwise fall through the cracks in the health care system. The key elements of the safety net include the 24/7 Illinois Perinatal HIV Hotline, rapid HIV testing in labor and delivery units throughout the state, and enhanced perinatal HIV case management for the highest risk women and their infants.

The Hotline is staffed by medical and social service care providers from Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital, and the Pediatric AIDS Chicago Prevention Initiative Enhanced Case Management Program.

The Hotline is designated by law to receive reports of preliminary positive rapid HIV tests on women and newborns in labor and delivery units in Illinois. Through real-time reporting, the Hotline can ensure medical consultation to help prevent transmission of HIV. Additionally, the Hotline can dispatch an enhanced case manager to the hospital to provide the patient with support during the time between the preliminary positive test and the confirmatory result. For confirmed positive patients, the enhanced case manager will coordinate all follow-up postpartum HIV care for the mother and the exposed infant and address all social service needs.

In order to meet state requirements as mandated in the Perinatal HIV Prevention Act, all positive rapid HIV tests on pregnant women in labor and delivery units as well as those performed on newborns must be reported to the Hotline within 12 hours but no later than 24 hours of the test result. Timely reporting allows the Hotline to assist you with medical consultation to help prevent transmission of HIV and to provide linkage to case management to ensure follow-up care.

Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week expert, up-to-date, real-time consultation on each individual case is available to assure that all clinical and social issues are addressed for each patient with a preliminary positive result. The intent of the legislation requiring the call is to ensure that experienced case management helps the woman and her family with this information in the very vulnerable time between receipt of the rapid result and receipt of the confirmatory HIV test result. Oftentimes, case management can also provide a home visit and help ensure the return visit to the hospital or clinic to receive the confirmatory results. Hotline staff work with hospitals and providers as a team to make clinical decisions, connect patients with case management, and assure appropriate follow up.

The Hotline provides information about the most up-to-date treatments for pregnant HIV-positive women and newborns. This includes medical consultation on HIV related obstetric and pediatric issues.

The Hotline can assist providers in interpreting HIV test results and can offer recommendations for additional testing and care.

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