Estimates of Prenatal HIV, Hepatitis B Virus, and Hepatitis C Virus Testing Among Pregnant People Enrolled in Wisconsin Medicaid, 2011-2015

Matern Child Health J. 2020 Feb;24(2):177-185. doi: 10.1007/s10995-019-02841-1.


Background: The opioid epidemic and rising rates of injection drug use are increasing the risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections among pregnant people. According to national clinical guidelines, pregnant people should be universally tested for HIV and HBV, and risk-based tested for HCV. The aim of this study was to determine the proportion and characteristics of prenatal HIV, HBV, and HCV testing and diagnosis among pregnant people with Wisconsin Medicaid coverage between 2011 and 2015.

Methods: Wisconsin birth certificates and Medicaid enrollment data were used to identify the sample. Standard billing and diagnosis codes were used to assess study variables. Data for each pregnancy were analyzed to describe the proportion of pregnancies that had evidence of testing, diagnoses, and yearly trends.

Results: Of the 78,917 pregnancies, prenatal testing estimates were 67% for HIV, 73% for HBV, and 6% for HCV. The estimated rate of infections during the study period was 1.82 for HIV, 2.09 for HBV, and 3.52 for HCV per 1000 pregnancies. Compared to the other race/ethnicity groups, pregnant people who were Black were most likely to be tested for HIV (78%) and HBV (80%), and pregnant people who were White were most likely to be tested for HCV (7%).

Conclusions: Clinical testing guidelines have not been effectively translated to practice. Additionally, compared to HIV and HBV, HCV infections during pregnancy are becoming more prevalent, yet current national HCV screening guidelines are the least comprehensive.

Keywords: HIV; Hepatitis B; Hepatitis C; Prenatal care; Testing disparities.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Clinical Laboratory Techniques / methods
  • Clinical Laboratory Techniques / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / blood
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis*
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • Hepatitis B / blood
  • Hepatitis B / diagnosis*
  • Hepatitis B / epidemiology
  • Hepatitis C / blood
  • Hepatitis C / diagnosis*
  • Hepatitis C / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medicaid / organization & administration
  • Medicaid / statistics & numerical data
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevalence
  • United States
  • Wisconsin / epidemiology