Consent to HIV testing? Did you do this? - Mothering Forums
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I'm Pregnant > Consent to HIV testing? Did you do this?
thundersweet's Avatar thundersweet 11:36 AM 04-16-2007
I am filling out my forms for my first OB visit. I am 9 weeks. One of the forms is for HIV testing. Do I need to do this?

Rico'sAlice's Avatar Rico'sAlice 11:51 AM 04-16-2007
Obviously that is a very personal decision. (Are you in a monogamous relationship? Are you confident in your partner's fidelity? Have you been raped? Have you received a blood transfusion while visiting a country w/ sub par screenings? Have you ever been tested in the past? There are just so many variables to consider.)
I felt confident of my negative status and did not consent. Pregnancy is one of the things that can lead to a false positive. For me the risk of getting a false positive and having to deal with the fallout from that seemed worse than any possible negatives of not being tested.
yeahwhat's Avatar yeahwhat 11:59 AM 04-16-2007
I've refused HIV testing during pregnancy precisely because pregnancy (especially in multiparous women) can rarely cause a false positive. I've already had a negative test 10 years ago and at this point in my life I think the risk of getting a false positive is much higher than the risk of me actually being HIV positive.
MysteryMama's Avatar MysteryMama 11:59 AM 04-16-2007
I did for my last pregnancy because dh and I had only been together for 6 months before I got pregnant and both of us were sexually active and had not been tested before we got together. It was very nerve wracking waiting on the result, but it was fine.

This time around I didn't bother.
Therese's Mommy's Avatar Therese's Mommy 12:01 PM 04-16-2007
I didn't want to consent to it as I heard that pregnancy can bring false positives and I am sure I don't have HIV. I told my dr this and I was bullied into signing the forms to consent. When I went for my blood work I just left the HIV form at home so they couldn't do the test and that was that. I never heard about it again. The lab tech told me to come back at another time with the form which I never did.
chinaKat's Avatar chinaKat 12:09 PM 04-16-2007
With my first pregnancy I took the test. No skin off my back... I'd been in a committed relationship but hadn't tested in a long time, so I figured why not make absolutely sure I was in the clear.

A false positive isn't that big a deal, you retake the test and go from there. It's not like a false positive GIVES you HIV. And I'd rather have known in advance if I was positive, since it would seriously affect my baby.

Second time around I didn't bother, as I hadn't been exposed to any risk since the first time.
thundersweet's Avatar thundersweet 12:17 PM 04-16-2007
I think I did with my dd 5 years ago and then I am pretty sure I declined it with ds almost 3 years ago. I know my partner is faithful and I am confidant about being negative. I am thinking I will decline it. One less stick I will have to receive.

Thanks ladies!
~minnow~'s Avatar ~minnow~ 12:24 PM 04-16-2007
I was thrown by this question when I was asked it, too. I had to decide that day. I consented, because I had never actually been tested for HIV and felt guilty about that. It turned out fine.

In future, I'll decline it as well. I'm in a monogamous relationship and all.
AugustLia23's Avatar AugustLia23 12:51 PM 04-16-2007
I didn't. I had to test before pregnancy though, so I knew I was negative. I wouldn't have consented even if I hadn't tested pre-pregnancy. I was actually quite offended when they tested me for chlymadia and gonorrhea without my permission, I know I don't have STD's.
wombatclay's Avatar wombatclay 12:56 PM 04-16-2007
I gave wasn't an extra blood draw (they just used the sample they had) and although I have been in a committed relationship for 14 years (and have tested negative on every HIV test I've ever had) it seems like a good thing to "check" every now and then. I sort of put it in the same category as a mammogram or pap smear...

And I think they throw that test in there since the results can, obviously, have a big impact on you and your babe, but also because it's a good piece of information for a woman to have and pregnancy is seen as one of those "catch all" times by the medical establishment. Not saying that's a GOOD reason of course, but I'm guessing that's the logic behind the "universal testing" of mamas.
Libelle's Avatar Libelle 01:16 PM 04-16-2007
I think they are doing one for me, as I saw it checked off on my blood test list when I went to the lab. I don't really care, but I am glad to know that there is a possiblity of false positive. In case this happens, I will now remain calm and have them do it again.
artgoddess's Avatar artgoddess 01:19 PM 04-16-2007
Originally Posted by Libelle View Post
I think they are doing one for me, as I saw it checked off on my blood test list when I went to the lab. I don't really care, but I am glad to know that there is a possiblity of false positive. In case this happens, I will now remain calm and have them do it again.
That's illegal in any state. They must have your prior consent before performing any test.

I skipped it this time because it was an extra vile of blood, and I am a wreck when it comes to blood tests. They have to lay me down even, it's bad. I had one with the last baby and DP and I each had them when we got our life ins policies 3 years ago, so there is no reason to do it again.
alegna's Avatar alegna 01:27 PM 04-16-2007
I declined it.

Emma's_Mommy's Avatar Emma's_Mommy 01:35 PM 04-16-2007
i took the test because in NYS if the mother isn't tested during pregnancy they will test the baby in the hospital after birth and i didnt want my poor baby to get poked for nothing!
Blucactus's Avatar Blucactus 01:39 PM 04-16-2007
I tested for the same reasons as above. I'd rather have them test my blood when taking it anyway, then poke the baby right after birth. Therefore I consented to be tested last pregnancy and this one both.
I also live in NYSate, has anyone else run into this law?
Lady Lilya's Avatar Lady Lilya 02:08 PM 04-16-2007
I also live in NYS.

I am planning a HB. But, my MW advised me that in the event of a transfer, if there was no HIV negative test results, they would prevent me from BFing the baby until they took blood from him and tested it, which could be more than a day.

I figured that if we transferred for some reason, there would already be more trauma for the baby than I would want, and I wouldn't want to add any additional trauma.

I was insulted as well. How can we be guilty until proven innocent? The same goes for the eye drops, which are almost impossible to refuse in NYS. It is based on an assumption of gonorrhea and chlamydia.

Anyway, the PKU test includes an HIV test in NYS these days. That can't be refused. But, at least with the PKU they can't keep your baby from you while they wait for the results.
stacey0402's Avatar stacey0402 02:16 PM 04-16-2007
I get tested yearly for my job, so I declined it this time.
Seena's Avatar Seena 02:41 PM 04-16-2007
I got the test...I'd much rather be safe than sorry. I had it with DD too, even though my DH and I are married. There was no extra prick. Plus I am planning on a water birth, and my Midwives will not attend a water birth if the mother has not received a negative HIV test. Makes total sense to me.
Sabo's Avatar Sabo 03:01 PM 04-16-2007
I asked about this at my midwife's office. It didn't make sense to be tested as dh and I are each other's only lifetime partners. However in my state, the mother can refuse to be tested, but then the baby has to be tested at birth. I figured that I could suffer an additional blood draw so that my baby would not have to.

ETA: I see that other NYer's have answered the same way as I did. Does anyone know, with the eye drops: I was tested for STD's with the original blood draw. Could I ask to be tested again right before birth and then be able to avoid the drops since I still would be gonorrhea- and chlamydia-free?
broodymama's Avatar broodymama 03:16 PM 04-16-2007
I did not consent to HIV testing with my 2nd pregnancy, signed the form refusing the testing.

The hospital (military hospital) tested for it anyway.
amberbella's Avatar amberbella 03:20 PM 04-16-2007
I don't really see the point in declining. I gave consent in an instant and would do it again in a heartbeat. I'll do it as many times as they want. I'm sure there are loads of women who were in "monogamous" relationships that contracted HIV.

I don't see why anyone would be offended at being tested for an STD...not all STD's have obvious symptoms. I got an STD when I was in a monogamous relationship with my DH...he was diagnosed with an STD before we got together and was treated for it, but not well enough I guess, so I got it. I didn't know I had it until I was tested, I must have had it for quite some time.
stacey2061's Avatar stacey2061 03:23 PM 04-16-2007
i did with my first pregnancy, because honestly, you just never know, but i declined with my second pregnancy. i'm confident my husband doesn't have the time to cheat on me, and i have been faithful to him, so i didn't feel the need for a 2nd test. with a first pregnancy, i see no reason not to test, even with the risk of a false positive. imo, it's too big a risk to take
Libelle's Avatar Libelle 03:42 PM 04-16-2007
Originally Posted by artgoddess View Post
That's illegal in any state. They must have your prior consent before performing any test.
You are right, even though I live in a Canadian province - Ontario actually. The HIV test is included with the other standard tests at your prenatal exam. Several other provinces also use this routine and opt-out approach. This is according to the website of the Canadian Aids Society ( where they mention that there was some concern about consent being implied instead of actually obtained. So this is probably what happened.

No wonder that the number of women being tested went up from 30 to 90 % between 1998-2004 after they launched a prenatal HIV testing program in 1998 (source: Sadly, I was not able to find any newer numbers. In any case, it seems they are still supposed to ask for permission and you can opt out.
lisalulu's Avatar lisalulu 04:27 PM 04-16-2007
I did with my first because I hadn't been tested since before dh and I met. This time I declined.
jessitron's Avatar jessitron 06:03 PM 04-16-2007
I don't recall signing anything. I think they just do it here, unless you verbally decline. It doesn't bother me. This time, since I was pregnant and had the standard tests done 5 months ago, they didn't repeat the STD tests.

There are plenty of routine procedures in the OB's office that I'll decline. I pick my fights, and HIV testing is not one of them.
ChristyM26's Avatar ChristyM26 07:22 PM 04-16-2007
I let them do it. I am 99.9% sure I don't have it so I'm not worried. So I signed the consent and forgot about it.
thismama's Avatar thismama 07:24 PM 04-16-2007
Yes, I did.

I knew it was unlikely I was positive, but in the event I was, there are interventions that can drastically reduce the likelihood of the baby testing positive.
ASusan's Avatar ASusan 07:30 PM 04-16-2007
Originally Posted by Emma's_Mommy View Post
i took the test because in NYS if the mother isn't tested during pregnancy they will test the baby in the hospital after birth and i didnt want my poor baby to get poked for nothing!
I think that this is also the case in Ohio. That is my memory of why I consented.
frenchie's Avatar frenchie 07:50 PM 04-16-2007
I declined don't have to do it. It's definately a personal choice.
alegna's Avatar alegna 07:53 PM 04-16-2007
Originally Posted by amberbella View Post
I don't really see the point in declining.
Pregnancy has been known to cause false positives. One positive (false or not) can screw up a lot of things.

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