Getting to Zero: Partner testing for HIV to eliminate mother-to-child HIV transmission

Project: Research project

Project Details


Being born HIV-positive is devastating, yet totally preventable. Illinois law mandates HIV testing early in pregnancy to identify positive women and prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. While this mandate has significantly reduced transmission, we have not gotten to zero transmission events. One significant reason for ongoing infections is new acquisition of HIV during pregnancy. Pregnancy increases the risk of acquiring HIV, and, when it occurs, a new infection poses an extremely high risk of transmission. Thus, identification of at-risk women is critical to zero babies born positive. Once a woman is determined to be at risk of HIV, partner treatment and/or pre-exposure prophylaxis can be offered, thereby eliminating the chance the pregnant woman will acquire and transmit HIV. Getting to zero finally becomes a possibility. Testing of pregnant women’s sexual partner(s) for HIV is an important approach to preventing new infections. Our assessment in the Prentice Ambulatory Care clinic identified that a majority of women in this low-income, minority population desire to know their partner’s HIV status and are interested in partner testing in clinic. Thus, we propose a program of HIV testing for partners of pregnant patients. As babies in our community continue to be born HIV-positive, we must take the next necessary steps in prevention: partner HIV testing.
Effective start/end date9/1/168/31/19


  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital (Agmt Signed 09/01/16)


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