Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 12. Health
Agency 5. Department of Health
Chapter 90. Regulations for Disease Reporting and Control

12VAC5-90-130. Prenatal testing.

Every physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner attending a pregnant patient during gestation shall examine and test such patient for syphilis, hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), and any other sexually transmitted disease as clinically indicated within 15 days after beginning such attendance. A second prenatal test for syphilis and HBsAg shall be conducted at the beginning of the third trimester (28 weeks) for patients who are at higher risk for these diseases. Persons at higher risk for syphilis include those who have had multiple sexual partners within the previous year, those with any prior history of a sexually transmitted disease, and those living in communities and populations in which the prevalence of syphilis is high. Persons at higher risk for hepatitis B virus infection include injecting drug users and those with personal contact with a hepatitis B patient, multiple sexual partners, and/or occupational exposure to blood. If the patient first seeks care during the third trimester, only one test shall be required. As a routine component of prenatal care, every licensed practitioner who renders prenatal care, including any holder of a multistate licensure privilege to practice nursing, regardless of the site of such practice, shall inform every pregnant patient that human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) screening is recommended for all pregnant patients and that she will receive an HIV test as part of the routine panel of prenatal tests unless she declines (opt-out screening). The practitioner shall offer the pregnant patient oral or written information that includes an explanation of HIV infection, a description of interventions that can reduce HIV transmission from mother to infant, and the meaning of positive and negative test results. The confidentiality provisions of § 32.1-36.1 of the Code of Virginia and the test result disclosure conditions and appropriate counseling requirements of § 32.1-37.2 of the Code of Virginia shall apply to any HIV testing conducted pursuant to this section. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a second HIV test for patients who receive health care in jurisdictions with elevated incidence of HIV or AIDS among women aged 15 through 45 years, which includes Virginia. Practitioners should offer a second HIV test during the third trimester to all pregnant patients. Practitioners shall counsel all pregnant patients with HIV-positive test results about the dangers to the fetus and the advisability of receiving treatment in accordance with the then current CDC recommendations for HIV-positive pregnant patients. Any pregnant patient shall have the right to refuse testing for HIV infection and any recommended treatment. Documentation of such refusal shall be maintained in the patient's medical record.

Statutory Authority

§ 32.1-35 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-28-100 § 6.1, eff. July 1, 1993; amended, Virginia Register Volume 15, Issue 6, eff. January 6, 1999; Volume 23, Issue 15, eff. May 2, 2007; Volume 27, Issue 13, eff. March 28, 2011.

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