• HIV;
  • AIDS;
  • evaluation;
  • training;
  • midwives

In response to a Department of Health, England, circular encouraging policies of named voluntary antenatal HIV antibody testing, one West Midlands health authority in England introduced a policy of raising the issue proactively at the first antenatal attendance. In order to facilitate this policy a short staff education programme was provided for midwives. This paper reports on part of a study which aimed to evaluate the impact of the HIV awareness training programme. A sample of midwives (n= 65) was randomly selected for inclusion in the study. Thirty-three had attended training and 32 had not. Data were collected using a self-administered questionnaire exploring knowledge of aetiology of HIV/AIDS, knowledge of transmission, knowledge of obstetric and paediatric HIV, attitudes to HIV, issues related to antenatal HIV antibody testing and opinions about the HIV awareness training programme. Results indicated no significant difference in levels of knowledge or in attitude between those who had attended the training programme and those who had not. Similarly, no significant difference was found in terms of how midwives would react to women requesting HIV antibody testing. Many of the results contradict the current literature and as a conclusion it is suggested that there is a need to review HIV-related training for midwives.