HIV testing in termination of pregnancy and colposcopy services: A scoping review


BACKGROUND: Women and girls are relatively under-represented across the HIV treatment cascade. Two conditions unique to women, pregnancy and cervical cancer/dysplasia, share a common acquisition mode with HIV. This scoping review aimed to explore HIV testing practices in voluntary termination of pregnancy (TOP) and colposcopy services. METHODS: The scoping review was conducted according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews. We searched articles published up to 20 December 2020 using three electronic databases (PubMed/Medline, Embase, Google Scholar) and including the keywords “HIV Testing”, “Abortion, Induced”, “Colposcopy”, “HIV screen*” and “termination of pregnancy”. RESULTS: A total of 1496 articles were identified, of which 55 met the inclusion criteria. We included studies providing background HIV prevalence in addition to prevalence in the study population and studies of women seeking TOP rather than presenting with TOP complications. This limited our review to high-income, low HIV prevalence settings. We observed two study phases: studies pre-antiretroviral therapy (ART) using unlinked anonymous testing data and examining HIV risk factors associated with positive HIV tests and studies post-ART using routine testing data and exploring HIV testing uptake. HIV prevalence was estimated at >0.2% in most TOP settings and >1% (range 1.7%–11.4%) in colposcopy services. Many TOP providers did not have local HIV testing policies and HIV testing was not mentioned in many specialist guidelines. Testing uptake was 49%–96% in TOP and 23%-75% in colposcopy services. CONCLUSION: Given the estimated HIV prevalence of >0.1% among women attending TOP and colposcopy services, HIV testing would be economically feasible to perform in high-income settings. Explicit testing policies are frequently lacking in these two settings, both at the local level and in specialist guidelines. Offering HIV testing regardless of risk factors could normalise testing, reduce late HIV presentation and create an opportunity for preventive counselling.


Filippidis P, Francini K, Jacot-Guillarmod M, Mathevet P, Lhopitallier L, Cavassini M, Darling KEA




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Determinants of Health
  • Determinants of Health
    • Income
    • Health services
  • Population(s)
    • Women
    • General HIV- population
  • Testing
    • Testing
  • Health Systems
    • Delivery arrangements


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