CDC Perinatal Screening Recommendations

Pregnant white woman with clinician

Learn when to screen patients for HIV, viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and tuberculosis (TB).

When a woman is pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, she will often look to her clinician or health care provider for guidance on how to take the best care of herself and her unborn child. Clinicians need the most up-to-date information and resources to be ready to answer questions. CDC’s revised Pregnancy and HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STDs, & TB Prevention website is an easily accessible resource. The site lists recommended screenings for HIV, viral hepatitis, STDs, and TB for women who are pregnant. Mothers and babies may have serious health consequences without screenings.

Recommendations

CDC recommends all pregnant women be screened for HIV, hepatitis B (HBV), and syphilis during pregnancy. For women at higher risk of infection, we recommend prenatal screenings for hepatitis C (HCV), chlamydia, and gonorrhea. Targeted testing for TB is recommended for women with known risk factors or exposure to TB. We have provided these in an easy to use infographic. Clinicians, health departments, and other health care workers can post this in their offices or waiting rooms to help start conversations with their patients about their health and that of their babies.

Screening recommendation chart of clinician timeline for screening Syphilis, HIV, HBV, HCV, Chlamydia and Gonorrhea

Chart of screening recommendations for Syphilis, HIV, HBV, Chlamydia and Gonorrhea.

What Clinicians Can Do

If clinicians are unaware of these recommendations or if women do not have access to care and treatment, opportunities for screening and care can be missed. For example, knowing that women chronically infected with HBV should be tested during each pregnancy helps ensure infants are identified for postexposure management. Some women are disproportionately affected by HIV, HBV, and syphilis during pregnancy. Screenings help provide better health outcomes for the mother and her child and reduce disparities.

What CDC is doing

CDC’s prevention portfolio for HIV, viral hepatitis, and STDs among pregnant women includes screening and treatment guidelines, case surveillance, and funding to state and local health departments and other organizations for perinatal prevention activities.

CDC:

  • Supports funding opportunities to conduct perinatal prevention activities including perinatal HIV activities and HBV activities.
  • Works with partners to focus on syphilis prevention and treatment among all women.
  • Reviews recommendations to determine if changes are needed, e.g., HCV screening during pregnancy.

If you are a health care provider, we recommend you stay up to date on perinatal screening recommendations. These resources will help keep your patients and their families informed. We also encourage you to print the infographic and place it in your facility. This can help start meaningful conversations with your patients about their health and the health of their babies.

Page last reviewed: October 19, 2018
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