All Pregnant Women Urged to Get HIV Tested

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A federal panel is recommending that all pregnant women, not just those considered at high risk, be screened for the AIDS virus. The recommendation comes as testing has proven so successful at helping prevent the spread of the disease to babies.

HIV-infected pregnant women can be given combination drug therapies, have Caesarean sections, or avoid breast-feeding to help keep their babies safe.

Bowling Green Dr. Steven Beverly says he recommends all of his expectant mothers take an HIV test.

Dr. Beverly says, "Because if somebody's found to have HIV we can use AZT and other retro virals to decrease the viral load within the mother and this will decrease the transmission for the infant. Infants with mothers who have it, that haven't been detected, have a one in four chance of developing it from their mother."

The task force also says those at high-risk for HIV include women getting care at homeless shelters or clinics specializing in the care of sexually transmitted diseases.

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