(PRESS RELEASE) – The Ministry of Health and Wellness wishes to advise all pregnant women to undertake serology testing during pregnancy.
According to Senior Medical Officer for Infectious Diseases, Dr. Gail Gajadhar, testing, ideally, should occur twice during pregnancy—once within the first three months, and the other within the last three months.
Serology testing involves taking a blood sample to test for HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HTLV1 and HTLV2. All pregnant women can get these tests done for free at the Ezra Long Laboratory at Victoria Hospital. Testing ensures early diagnosis and treatment of the affected mother where necessary. Testing can also ensure that the affected mother can inform their partner so that they can be tested and treated as well.
Early diagnosis and treatment reduces the chances of the baby getting HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis B, while in utero; it reduces the chances of the baby dying in utero from any of those diseases; and it reduces the chances of the baby dying from any of those diseases after birth. The goal is to have healthy mothers and healthy babies.
All expectant mothers who test for HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Syphilis, HTLV1 and HTLV2 are exempt from paying any fees for those tests at the Ezra Long Laboratory at the Victoria Hospital. The tests are free for pregnant women.