To the Editor.
—Recent studies of childbearing women in New York City indicate seroprevalence rates of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) antibody (Ab) between 1.64% and 2.35%.1,2 These results provide the first comprehensive look at HIV infection in parturients from a population with a high incidence of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and raise important questions regarding counseling and HIV-Ab testing programs for pregnant women.3We recently completed a study, approved by the institutional review board, to determine the seroprevalence of HIV-Ab in obstetric patients delivered at an inner-city, tertiary-care hospital in Philadelphia. The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania is a 700-bed facility that provides medical care for a large minority population. There are 3500 deliveries a year at the hospital, approximately 10% of which are to women who are at risk of HIV infection. Current policy provides for voluntary testing for obstetric patients who identify themselves as being at