December 1, 2004
A new perinatal hotline service (888-448-8765) is now providing clinicians with 24-hour consultation from HIV experts on treating HIV-infected pregnant women and their children as well as advice on indications and interpretations of HIV testing in pregnancy.
The Perinatal Hotline (the National Perinatal HIV Consultation and Referral Service), was developed by the HIV/AIDS Bureau of the Health Services and Resources Administration (HRSA), and will be an expansion of HRSA's National HIV/AIDS Clinicians' Consultation Center (NCCC) at San Francisco General Hospital.
"Our aim is to make sure clinicians nationwide, especially those who may not have much experience with HIV, can get readily available expert consultation. For clinicians caring for pregnant women, this will not only include consultation during prenatal visits, but also during the critical period in the labor and delivery room and postpartum," said the Hotline's Co-Assistant Director, Jessica Fogler, M.D., Assistant Clinical Professor of Family and Community Medicine at UCSF.
"As access to rapid HIV testing becomes more available, clinicians who treat pregnant women will have an increased need for 24-hour consultation in interpreting HIV tests and applying the Public Health Service guidelines to prevent HIV transmission to newborns," said the Hotline's Co-Assistant Director, Deborah Cohan, M.D., M.P.H., Assistant Clinical Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at UCSF.
The Perinatal Hotline will not only be available around the clock to answer callers' immediate questions and help solve urgent perinatal HIV issues, but will also assist clinicians in linking HIV-infected women and HIV-exposed infants to the most appropriate care. Callers will be referred to a national network of education, training and consultation services available from HRSA's regional AIDS Education and Training Centers and to clinicians with expertise in caring for perinatal HIV.
The NCCC also offers two other free national telephone advice services for clinicians. The National HIV Telephone Consultation Service (Warmline) at 800-933-3414 provides advice on treating HIV. The Warmline is available to clinicians from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday. The National Clinicians' Post-Exposure Prophylaxis Hotline (PEPline) at 888-448-4911 provides 24-hour consultation regarding health care worker exposures to blood-borne pathogens, HIV and hepatitis. "We have provided more than 75,000 confidential telephone consultations over the last decade answering clinicians' HIV treatment questions and managing exposures to blood-borne pathogens to health care workers," said NCCC director, Ronald Goldschmidt, M.D., Director of the Family Practice Inpatient Service at San Francisco General and UCSF Professor of Family and Community Medicine.
The NCCC is part of the AIDS Education and Training Centers Program funded by the Ryan White CARE Act through HRSA's HIV/AIDS Bureau in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the HRSA Division of Community Based Programs.