University of Sussex

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Women who decline antenatal screening for HIV infection in the era of universal testing: results of an audit of uptake in three London hospitals

journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-07, 13:57 authored by S J Conaty, Jackie Cassell, U Harrisson, P Whyte, L Sherr, Z Fox
Universal screening for HIV in early pregnancy is strongly promoted policy in the United Kingdom with a target of 90 per cent uptake. We identified characteristics of women declining screening by conducting an audit at three hospitals in inner north London. In early 2002 midwives were asked to complete an audit form following first antenatal appointment. Of 2,710 women attending 401 (15 per cent) declined an HIV test. Of women who declined 38 per cent reported they had been tested for HIV in the past; 65 per cent accepted every other antenatal test. In multivariable analysis parity (OR: 1.19; 95 per cent CI 1.10-1.29 per additional child), declining other tests (OR: 3.10; 95 per cent CI 2.44-3.93 per test declined) and previous HIV testing (OR: 1.70; 95 per cent CI 1.30-2.23) were predictors of declining an HIV test. Women declining screening were not obviously from high-risk demographic groups: women from sub-Saharan Africa were not at greater risk of declining an HIV test than women from other regions.


Publication status

  • Published


Journal of Public Health




Oxford University Press





Page range


Department affiliated with

  • BSMS Publications


Journal Article Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Full text available

  • No

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes

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