Third-Trimester HIV Testing: Caring for Georgia, One Family at a Time


Poster Presentation

Purpose for the Program

With the progress made in infectious disease prevention, a mother's positive-HIV status does not mean her infant will have HIV as well. By testing mothers, initiating treatment before delivery, and educating families, prevention of in utero transmission is possible.

Proposed Change

To provide third-trimester HIV testing and antiviral administration to expectant mothers. Outcomes are positively affected by initiating early antiviral administration as a result of third-trimester HIV test results. Testing was offered to all women with the expectation of providing care before delivery.

Implementation, Outcomes, and Evaluation

  • Education from Southeast AIDS Training and Education Center was used for pretest counseling
  • Ongoing in-service was conducted, which provided updates on test form completion, submission, and patient education
  • Coordinated process between nursing staff, laboratory staff, and physicians ensured timely testing, results, and notifications to patients
  • Comprehensive test forms were collected, verified for accuracy, and submitted to the Department of Public Health before the established deadline

The implementation of third-trimester HIV testing established new guidelines and processes for the conduction of HIV tests in the third trimester of pregnancy. Within 1 hour, the labor and delivery and triage nurses provided comprehensive pretest counseling and testing, relayed the test results to the physicians, and the physicians provided the patients with the test results. By conducting HIV testing upon admission, immediate antiviral treatment was initiated before delivery.

Implications for Nursing Practice

As an active participant to improve the health of the local community, Columbus Regional Medical Center provided third-trimester HIV testing to expectant mothers. Test results were made available within 1 hour. Antiviral treatment and linkage to care protocols were made available to each patient on a continual basis. Early detection provided greater opportunities for positive outcomes for both mother and infant.