Determining HIV seroprevalence among women in women's health clinics.
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Determining HIV seroprevalence among women in women's health clinics.

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      Public Health Rep
    • Description:
      Human immunodeficiency virus, type 1 (HIV), seroprevalence studies are needed to determine the level and trends of HIV infection among women attending family planning, abortion, and prenatal care clinics in the United States. A review of published and unpublished studies showed that HIV seroprevalence among women attending women's health clinics was 0 to 2.6 percent, although the studies were difficult to compare because of differences in methodology. The Centers for Disease Control, in association with State and local health departments, has developed a standardized protocol to determine HIV seroprevalence among women attending women's health clinics in selected metropolitan areas. Blinded HIV serosurveys (serologic test results not identified with a person) are being conducted annually in selected sentinel clinics in order to obtain estimates of HIV seroprevalence unbiased by self-selection, as well as to monitor trends in infection among clients attending these clinics. In areas with high HIV seroprevalence, nonblinded serosurveys (in which clients voluntarily agree to participate) will be used to assess behaviors that may place women at increased risk of exposure to HIV. Data from the surveys can be used in developing age-specific and culturally appropriate AIDS educational materials, assessing the amount and type of counseling activities required, and evaluating acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) prevention activities. The information will provide epidemiologic data to complement the results of other surveys in characterizing the scope of HIV infection among women of childbearing age in the United States.
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