nursing and midwifery - text

Module 4- Diagnosing HIV during pregnancy

Learning outcomes

After completing this module you will have a better understanding of:

  • The rationale for antenatal screening 
  • The procedure for antenatal screening 
  • The importance of psychosocial support following diagnosis 
  • Women’s experience of receiving a positive result following routine antenatal screening



Since the introduction of antenatal testing for HIV, many women and men are learning of their HIV diagnosis for the first time during their own or partner’s pregnancy.

Receiving a diagnosis of HIV through antenatal screening is highly traumatic and has the potential to overshadow the whole experience of pregnancy. Appropriate psychosocial support is therefore vital. A wide range of healthcare professionals are involved in the care of newly diagnosed HIV positive women and their partners: obstetrics, GUM, neonatology, midwifery, specialist pharmacy, HIV counselling, HIV nursing.