To estimate the prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) among parturients in an area with a high cumulative incidence of AIDS, an HIV seroprevalence study was conducted in 1988 in Los Angeles County. Test results were available from 8485 (86.1%) of the 9860 women delivering at four public hospitals. The test results were linked to demographic and medical information available from routinely collected delivery records. Three specimens were HIV-positive, for a seroprevalence of 3.5 per 10,000. The seropositive women were all Latina. The prevalence of HIV among women delivering at all hospitals in Los Angeles County has been shown to be relatively low compared with that of other metropolitan areas with a high number of AIDS cases, such as New York city, but appears to be even lower among women delivering at public hospitals during this time period. This low prevalence is attributed to the predominance of Latinas, who may have lower levels of infection, among public hospital parturients. The relatively low prevalence of HIV among injection drug users in Los Angeles County may contribute to the overall lower prevalence among women in Los Angeles County compared with those in New York city. This study supplements county specific data obtained from statewide blinded neonatal testing by providing details on HIV seroprevalence among the catchment populations of public hospitals in Los Angeles County.
(C) 1992 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists