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January 5, 1990

Anonymous HIV Testing on Newborns

Author Affiliations

Italian Collaborative Study Group for HIV Prevalence in Newborns Rome

Italian Collaborative Study Group for HIV Prevalence in Newborns Rome

JAMA. 1990;263(1):36. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03440010034017

To the Editor.—  We read with interest the report by Novick et al1 regarding the prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in parturient women in New York State. In Italy, where cases of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) among women and children represent 17.7% and 3.2%, respectively, of all patients with AIDS reported, we carried out a program similar to that described by Novick et al. Using blood samples collected on adsorbent paper during June through December 1988 for the routine detection of hereditary metabolic disorders, we examined for the presence of anti-HIV antibodies (HIV-Ab) 23 492 consecutive newborn babies from 63 hospital nurseries in nine Italian regions. At the National Blood Transfusion Center of the Italian Red Cross, one blood-saturated disk was punched out from each collection paper, without identification of the patient. The sample was eluted in phosphate-buffered saline as described previously2 and screened for HIV-Ab