What must HIV counseling include?

All HIV counseling for pregnant women must be in accordance with the AIDS Confidentiality Act and include:

  • The voluntary nature of testing for pregnant women.
  • The requirement that opt-out testing of the mother be performed, unless she declines, and how to decline.
  • The benefits of HIV testing for pregnant women, including the opportunity to prevent HIV transmission to the newborn.
  • The benefit of HIV testing for the infant, including interventions to prevent transmission, and the side effects of those interventions.
  • The confidentiality provisions that relate to HIV and AIDS.
  • The requirement that if the mother’s HIV status from the third trimester is unknown, the newborn must be tested for HIV.
  • An explanation of the test, including its purpose, limitation, and the meaning of its results.
  • An explanation of the procedures followed.
  • The availability of additional or confirmatory testing, if appropriate.
  • Counseling may be provided in writing, verbally, by video, electronic or other means. The woman must be offered an opportunity to ask questions about testing and to decline testing for herself.