Suzanne Maman, MHS, PhD, is an assistant professor of Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health, Chapel Hill, NC.
Changes in HIV Testing Policies and the Implications for Women
Article first published online: 24 DEC 2010
2008 American College of Nurse Midwives
Journal of Midwifery & Womens Health
Volume 53, Issue 3, pages 195–201, May-June 2008
How to Cite
Maman, S. and King, E. (2008), Changes in HIV Testing Policies and the Implications for Women. Journal of Midwifery & Womens Health, 53: 195–201. doi: 10.1016/j.jmwh.2007.11.001
- Issue published online: 24 DEC 2010
- Article first published online: 24 DEC 2010
- HIV testing policies;
- human rights;
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) together with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) recently released new guidelines for HIV testing in health care settings. Both sets of guidelines recommend eliminating individual informed consent in favor of an opt-out approach that requires clients to actively decline the HIV test after a pretest information session. The revised guidelines also recommend reducing the amount of counseling that accompanies the HIV test. Women are more likely than men to be affected by efforts to expand access to HIV testing in health care settings because of women's increased vulnerability to HIV and greater contact with the health care system. Women may also be more susceptible to changes to the consent and counseling process for HIV testing because of their marginalized social status in many settings. More research is needed to document women's experiences with provider-initiated, opt-out HIV testing. Understanding women's experiences will help to formulate feasible and effective strategies to support women and ensure they gain access to HIV treatment services.