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CDC suspends testing of newborns. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Clearinghouse, P.O. Box 6003, Rockville, MD 20849-6003. 800-458-5231 ext. 2714.

June 30, 1996
AIDS Policy Law. 1995 Jun 2;10(10):1, 9. Unique Identifier : AIDSLINE

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced the suspension of their anonymous HIV testing program for newborn infants. The announcement came on the heels of legislation introduced by Gary Ackerman, D-N.Y., requiring states to tell parents or other legal guardians if their newborn babies test positive for HIV antibodies. CDC officials said the survey was useful in tracking the epidemic, but it was time to reevaluate whether the $10 million annual cost could be better spent preventing HIV infection among women and newborns. The CDC advocates the implementation of their proposed guidelines, for physicians to counsel all pregnant women about their HIV risks and offer, but not require, testing. Those who test positive for HIV antibodies should be given nonjudgmental information about the risks and benefits of taking AZT. The CDC cites a recent study which shows that pregnant women may reduce by two-thirds the risk of transmitting HIV to their babies if they take the antiviral drug AZT during pregnancy, labor and delivery. If the decision to suspend the survey becomes final, activists are concerned that Ackerman might change the legislation to mandate testing of all pregnant women. The CDC plans to convene a panel of outside experts to evaluate its guidelines for counseling and voluntary testing.

*Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.) Cost-Benefit Analysis Disease Transmission, Vertical Female HIV Infections/ECONOMICS/*PREVENTION & CONTROL/TRANSMISSION Human Infant, Newborn Mandatory Testing/LEGISLATION & JURISPRUD Population Surveillance Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/*PREVENTION & CONTROL Truth Disclosure United States Zidovudine/THERAPEUTIC USE NEWSLETTER ARTICLE