Pregnant women urged to seek prenatal STD testing - WNEM TV 5

Pregnant women urged to seek prenatal STD testing

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State health officials are urging pregnant women to seek testing to help prevent spreading a potentially dangerous infection to their newborn baby. 

During the month of April, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is recognizing National Sexually Transmitted Disease Awareness Month to highlight the importance of testing during pregnancy.

Health officials said many STD infections that can occur in pregnant women can also affect a newborn baby.

It can be prevented, however, with proper testing during pregnancy.

Experts said testing for HIV, hepatitis B and syphilis multiple times during pregnancy will lead to better health outcomes for both the mother and her baby. 

“If a physician is aware of the woman’s infection before the baby is born, they can provide treatment to ensure the baby doesn’t become infected,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive for MDHHS.

Every pregnant woman should be tested for HIV, hepatitis B and syphilis at their first prenatal visit. MDHHS recommends additional testing at 26-28 weeks.

In the past five years, Michigan has had three preventable cases of perinatal Hepatitis B, three cases of congenital syphilis and three babies born with HIV infection. 

Read the full press release from MDHHS here.  

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