Pregnancy screening 2020 and 2021

Screening of pregnant women, 2020 and 2021

In 2020 and 2021, a total of 69,208 and 67,476 blood type analyses were performed in pregnant women. Practically all of these women (99.9%) were tested for hepatitis B virus (HBV), HIV and syphilis.

Pregnant women with hepatitis B

In 2020, 142 (0.21%) of the pregnant women tested positive for HBsAg (hepatitis B surface antigen). The corresponding number for 2021 was 117 (0.17%). These numbers are slightly lower than those observed in the previous years, Figure 1.

Pregnancy screening_2020_2021_figure1

HIV-positive pregnant women

In 2020 and 2021, 23 (0.03%) and 18 (0.03%) of the pregnant women tested positive for HIV, respectively.

In 2020, two women had newly detected HIV and 21 were known HIV positives.

In 2021, all 18 women were known HIV positives.

Pregnant women with syphilis

Among pregnant women who were screened for syphilis in 2020, 87 tested positive. Confirmatory serological tests were performed in 81 of the women (93%). The confirmatory test makes it possible to identify both the false positives/previously infected cases and the pregnant women who currently have syphilis. The majority of the 87 women were false positives or had antibodies from previous syphilis. Current syphilis was established in 14 of these cases, corresponding to 0.02% of all the screened pregnant women. In 2021, 80 pregnant women tested positive.

Confirmatory serological tests were performed in 76 of the women (95%), 15 of whom had current syphilis detected, corresponding to 0.02% of all screened pregnant women.

Among the 29 screened pregnant women with syphilis in 2020 and 2021, 16 were born in Denmark.

Only 20 of the 29 women were notified via the statutory national syphilis notification system.


Among pregnant women, hepatitis B almost exclusively occurs in women who were born abroad or born by immigrants in Denmark before the introduction of the general hepatitis B screening of pregnant women (November 2005), Figure 2. This distribution reflects the hepatitis B distribution in the general population, EPI-NEWS no 17, 2020.

Pregnancy screening_2020_2021_figure2

A considerable preponderance of women born abroad is also observed for HIV among pregnant women, Figure 3. In contrast, almost no second-generation immigrants with HIV were detected in the pregnancy screening.

Pregnancy screening_2020_2021_figure3

In contrast to hepatitis B and HIV, a considerable share of the women who have syphilis detected in the pregnancy screening were born in Denmark, Figure 4.

Pregnancy screening_2020_2021_figure4

This report is also described in EPI-NEWS 38/2022.