Objective: To evaluate universal screening with an opt-out approach of pregnant women for human immunodeficiency virus infection.
Design: Prospective study.
Setting: Regional hospital, Hong Kong.
Patients: All women booked or delivered in Kwong Wah Hospital from 1 January 1999 to 30 November 1999 were recruited.
Main outcome measures: Numbers of women who received the human immunodeficiency virus antibody screening test, refused the test (and the reasons why), tested positive, and tested positive with confirmation by immunoblot study.
Results: A total of 5597 women were recruited and 5459 screening tests performed in this study. Of the 16 screened positive cases, three were confirmed by immunoblot study. The overall acceptance rate for the test was 97.5%. The acceptance rate among the 5191 women recruited through the hospital's booking clinic was not significantly different from that among the 406 women who did not go through the hospital's booking clinic (97.6% versus 96.6%).
Conclusion: Universal screening of pregnant women for human immunodeficiency virus infection with an opt-out approach is practical, feasible, and clinically acceptable in Hong Kong.