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Since the introduction of routine antenatal HIV testing midwives are increasingly involved in the screening, diagnosis and reproductive counselling and care of HIV-positive women and their partners. Within the context of care there is a risk that preventing onward transmission to the baby is prioritised over meeting the needs of the woman as a woman in her own right. This article explores the psychosocial challenges faced by women who test HIV-positive during a pregnancy by reviewing the literature on antenatal testing procedures, the impact of an HIV diagnosis and effect on the experience of motherhood, disclosure to partners and the social and cultural significance of an HIV diagnosis during pregnancy.

Original publication




Journal article


British Journal of Midwifery

Publication Date





76 - 81