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June 7, 1995

Obstetrics and Gynecology

Author Affiliations

University of California—Irvine College of Medicine, Orange

JAMA. 1995;273(21):1700-1702. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520450070036

The incidence of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is increasing in the heterosexual population.1 A significant proportion of this increase is due to injecting drug use. Nwanyanwu et al2 stated that of all the cases of AIDS reported to the Center for Communicable Diseases, Atlanta, Ga, up to June 1, 1991, 32% were associated with drug abuse; of this group of cases, 70% were in women and heterosexual men. From 1989 to 1990, the increased incidence of AIDS in drug-abusing women was 15% and in women who were sexual partners of drug-abusing men, 29%. This makes for a large pool of potentially human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)—infected pregnant women and presents the obstetrician with the challenge of identifying and treating these patients. Identifying HIV-infected pregnant patients is not always easy; the only way to identify all patients is to offer HIV screening to all pregnant patients. The need for universal

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