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Author Notes:

Andrea Swartzendruber: Rollins School of Public Health, 1518 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA. Tel.: +1 404 727 6703; fax: +1 404 712 9738. alswart@emory.edu

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


Research Funding:

Andrea Swartzendruber was supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (grant number F32 AA022058).


  • HIV
  • Point-of-care test
  • Pregnancy
  • Screening
  • Syphilis
  • Adult
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Developing Countries
  • Female
  • HIV Infections
  • Humans
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical
  • Latin America
  • Mass Screening
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious
  • Prenatal Diagnosis
  • Syphilis
  • Syphilis Serodiagnosis

Introduction of rapid syphilis testing in antenatal care: A systematic review of the impact on HIV and syphilis testing uptake and coverage


Journal Title:

International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics


Volume 130, Number S1


, Pages S15-S21

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Background: Global guidelines recommend universal syphilis and HIV screening for pregnant women. Rapid syphilis testing (RST) may contribute toward achievement of universal screening. Objectives: To examine the impact of RST on syphilis and HIV screening among pregnant women. Search strategy: We searched MEDLINE for English- and non-English language articles published through November, 2014. Selection criteria: We included studies that used a comparative design and reported on syphilis and HIV test uptake among pregnant women in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) following introduction of RST. Data collection and analysis: Data were extracted from six eligible articles presenting findings from Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Main results: All studies reported substantial increases in antenatal syphilis testing following introduction of RST; the latter did not appear to adversely impact antenatal HIV screening levels at sites already offering rapid HIV testing and may increase HIV screening among pregnant women in some settings. Qualitative data revealed that women were highly satisfied with RST. Nevertheless, ensuring adequate training for healthcare workers and supplies of commodities were cited as key implementation barriers. Conclusions: RST may increase antenatal syphilis and HIV screening and contribute to the improvement of antenatal care in LMICs.

Copyright information:

© 2015 World Health Organization; licensee Elsevier.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
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