What factors influence obstetrician-gynecologists to follow recommended HIV screening and testing guidelines?

J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2012 Jul;21(7):762-8. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2011.3222. Epub 2012 Apr 16.


Background: The purpose of this study was to determine what factors may influence obstetrician-gynecologists' HIV testing practices and to learn more about obstetrician-gynecologists' current HIV screening and testing practices.

Methods: Survey questionnaires were sent to 1200 American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (the College) Fellows and Junior Fellows in practice between October 2009 and January 2010. Four hundred of the recipients were members of the Collaborative Ambulatory Research Network (CARN), and 800 recipients were randomly selected from the ACOG Fellows and Junior Fellows in practice.

Results: The survey response rate was 62.0% (248 of 400) for CARN and 31.1% (249 of 800) for non-CARN. Nearly 100% (99.7%) of the study sample report recommending HIV testing to all pregnant women at least once during each pregnancy, while reported rates for repeat testing in the third trimester remain low (20.1% for all patients and 42.6% for high-risk patients). Two thirds (66.0%) of respondents recommend labor and delivery testing to women with unknown or undocumented HIV status. Fewer than 22.0% of respondents report routinely recommending HIV screening to all non-pregnant women, citing a low-risk population as the most common reason. State laws and regulations have only moderate influence on obstetrician-gynecologists' HIV testing practice, as do practice type, location, and setting.

Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that the provider's perception about the patients' risk for being infected as well as practice type and location are important factors influencing an obstetrician-gynecologist's decision to screen a nonpregnant woman for HIV.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine / statistics & numerical data
  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine / trends
  • Female
  • Guideline Adherence
  • Gynecology* / standards
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / standards*
  • Middle Aged
  • Obstetrics* / standards
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnant Women / ethnology
  • Pregnant Women / psychology
  • Professional Practice Location / statistics & numerical data
  • Professional Practice Location / trends
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Workforce