Ministry of Health: HIV testing procedures for pregnant women in Vietnam

Below is the remarkable content specified in Circular 09/2021/TT-BYT dated June 30, 2021 on procedures, time, number of HIV tests for pregnant women; care and treatment for women infected with HIV during pregnancy, giving birth, breastfeeding, and measures for reducing HIV transmission from mother to child.

Ministry of Health: HIV testing procedures for pregnant women in Vietnam (Artwork)

HIV testing procedures for pregnant women shall conform to Vietnam's Circular 01/2015/TT-BYT are as follows:

(1) Pre-HIV testing consulting for pregnant women regarding transmission of HIV, necessity of acknowledging HIV infection, risk of infecting children with HIV and benefits of early treatment with antiretroviral drugs in reducing HIV infection from mother to child.

(2) HIV test recommendations for pregnant women according to Article 4 of Vietnam's Circular 09/2021/TT-BYT.

Article 4. Time and number of HIV tests for pregnant women

Pregnant women who are unaware of their HIV infection and agree to conduct HIV tests shall be designated to partake HIV test during periodic antenatal care or when going into labor or giving birth according to national guidelines on reproductive healthcare for pregnant women of Ministry of Health, to be specific:

1. Conduct the first HIV test as soon as possible.

2. Conduct the second HIV test for cases with high risk of infection according to Clause 6 Article 2 of Vietnam's Law on HIV/AIDS prevention and control as follows:

a) Having high risk within 3 months prior to the first HIV test;

b) Having high risk after receiving the first HIV test.

(3) HIV testing techniques for pregnant women.

(4) Return of HIV test results for pregnant women. For pregnant women tested with HIV while going into labor or giving birth, HIV test results shall be returned to medical facilities assigned to test HIV as soon as possible and no longer than 6 hours from the time of receiving specimen.

(5) Post-HIV test consulting and processing for pregnant women:

- In case a pregnant woman is tested positive for HIV: Advise regarding treatment to prevent transmission from mother to child and transfer to treatment facilities that employ antiretroviral drugs;

- In case a pregnant woman are tested for HIV while going into labor or giving birth, advice regarding treatment to prevent HIV transmission from mother to child by using antiretroviral drugs on both mother and child, and transfer blood sample for HIV test immediately.

In case HIV test result of the mother is unidentified, continue to use antiretroviral drugs for both mother and child until test result is determined; in case HIV test result of the mother is negative, cease treatment with antiretroviral drugs;

- In case a pregnant woman is tested negative for HIV but is at high risk of contracting HIV: Advise regarding HIV prevention and transfer the pregnant woman to facilities providing HIV prevention service.

Vietnam's Circular 09/2021/TT-BYT takes effect from August 15, 2021.

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