NCCC Launches National Perinatal Hotline
National Perinatal HIV Consultation and Referral Service
Perinatal Hotline - 888/448-8765
The Perinatal Consultation and Referral Service
The new National Perinatal HIV Consultation and Referral Service (Perinatal Hotline) at 888/448-8765, provides free 24-hour clinical consultation and advice on treating HIV-infected pregnant women and their infants as well as indications and interpretations of rapid and standard HIV testing in pregnancy.
The Perinatal Hotline is an expansion of the HRSA National HIV/AIDS Clinicians' Consultation Center (NCCC) at San Francisco General Hospital, which currently operates the National HIV Telephone Consultation Service (Warmline) and the National Clinicians' Post-Exposure Prophylaxis Hotline (PEPline).
"Despite advances in reducing mother-to-child transmission of HIV, transmission still remains a significant problem in the United States and one that disproportionately impacts women and children of color," stated Dr. Jessica Fogler, a family physician who serves as Assistant Director of the Perinatal Hotline. "Perinatal HIV transmission remains a tragic yet largely preventable problem. Although the number of transmissions has dropped, each transmission has enormous personal, family, public health, and economic consequences."
Testing pregnant women as early as possible in prenatal care and treating HIV-infected pregnant women and their newborns, as recommended in the Public Health Service (PHS) guidelines, has resulted in a dramatic reduction of mother-to-child transmission. Dr. Deborah Cohan, an obstetrician who serves as Assistant Director along with Dr Fogler, added, "As access to rapid HIV testing becomes more available, clinicians who treat pregnant women will have an increased need for readily available 24-hour consultation in interpreting HIV tests and applying the PHS guidelines. We will be available 24 hours a day to not only answer callers' immediate questions and help solve emergent perinatal HIV issues, but also to assist clinicians in linking HIV-infected pregnant women and HIV-exposed infants to the most appropriate care. Callers are also referred to a national network of education, training and consultation services available from their regional AIDS Education and Training Centers (AETCs).
The NCCC is well equipped to provide this service, with more than 75,000 telephone consultations during the past decade on treating HIV (the Warmline) and managing exposures to blood-borne pathogens to health care workers (the PEPline). Dr. Ronald Goldschmidt, director of the NCCC and director of the Family Practice Inpatient Service at San Francisco General Hospital, stated, "Our aim is make sure clinicians nationwide can get readily available expert consultation. For clinicians caring for pregnant women, this not only includes prenatal visits, but during the critical period in the labor and delivery rooms and postpartum."
The NCCC is part of the AIDS Education and Training Centers (AETC) Program funded by the Ryan White CARE Act of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the HAB Division of Community Based Programs.
The Perinatal Hotline (888-448-8765) and the PEPline (888-448-4911) are both available 24 hours, seven days per week. The Warmline (800-933-3413) is available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (EST) Monday through Friday. All consultations are free and confidential.