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Screening for HIV in pregnancy (SHIP)

Research Team

  • KA Heckert [Department of Public Health & General Practice, Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences] 
  • S Chambers [Dept of Infectious Diseases, Christchurch Hospital]
  • S Bagshaw [New Zealand Family Planning Assoc.] 
  • M Kipa [Ngai Tahu Development Corporation]
  • A Ahuriri-Driscoll [Department of Public Health & General Practice, Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences] 


It is now possible to significantly reduce the risk of HIV transmission from mother to child, provided the woman's HIV status is known. Uptake using different strategies varies in other parts of the world, however most OECD countries now offer routine antenatal screening. Women's acceptability and provider attitudes and practices regarding HIV screening during pregnancy have recently been investigated in Christchurch and North Canterbury and the West Coast in two complementary studies; the WASH project funded by CMRF and the Provider Survey conducted out of the Department of Infectious Diseases, Christchurch Hospital with partial support from the Ministry of Health.


The primary objectives of SHIP are to:

  • merge the research teams and efforts of the provider and Women's Acceptability (WASH) studies,
  • complete the analysis and interpretation of data from both data sets,
  • design an HIV screening tool or protocol with the greatest potential for user-friendliness among both antenatal women and their maternity carers, and
  • develop a research design to test the uptake of the screening protocol among providers and the uptake of testing among clients.

Results and Conclusions

SHIP begin in September 2000 and is currently in progress until August 2001. An Advisory Committee meets monthly to address the study objectives.