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Published in HIV Medicine (2005) 6 (Supplement 2): 107-148. Copyright 2005, the British HIV Association. Used by permission.


The prevalence of HIV infection amongst women giving birth in England and Wales has increased every year since 1990. Results from the Unlinked Anonymous Surveys of infection in pregnancy, show that in 2003, the prevalence reached one in 180 (0.56%) in inner London, one in 271 in outer London (0.37%) and one in 1,282 (0.08%) in the rest of England [1]. The majority of these women are from sub-Saharan Africa. The Department of Health policy of recommending an HIV test to every pregnant woman [2] has resulted in an increase in the proportion of these women who are aware of their diagnosis prior to delivery (more than 80% in London in 2001) and a decrease in the absolute number of infants infected in the UK [3].

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