OBJECTIVE: To determine the uptake of medical interventions amongst women known to be HIV positive and in contact with service providers. SUBJECTS: 400 HIV positive women from 15 STD/HIV clinics in Britain and Ireland recruited to the MRC collaborative study of HIV infection in women between June 1992 and August 1994. METHODS: Data obtained prospectively through direct questioning of all women by a physician or research nurse and review of medical and laboratory records. Data recorded on standardised forms and analysed centrally. RESULTS: Nearly one quarter (24%) of women with an AIDS diagnosis had never received Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia prophylaxis, and 24% had never received any antiretroviral therapy. Fewer than two-thirds of black African women had had a chest radiograph. Only one woman had received Pneumovax and only 4% of women had ever taken part in a clinical trial. CONCLUSIONS: A substantial proportion of women with HIV infection did not receive interventions of proven benefit, and participation in clinical trials was very uncommon. The reasons for such poor uptake should be explored among both health care workers and women with HIV infection.
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