The use of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) antibody test for women of childbearing age is discussed. Serological tests used to determine HIV status are reviewed. Practitioners should be aware of the legal and ethical issues involved in testing. Psychological responses to knowledge of test results are considered. The goal of the counseling session is to provide sufficient information for the woman to make an informed decision about reproductive choices. The format and content of pre- and post-test sessions are outlined, and checklists that may assist the practitioner in post-test counseling appear in the Appendixes.
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