Should Rapid Tests for HIV Infection Now Be Mandatory During Pregnancy? Global Differences in Scarcity and a Dilemma of Technological Advance
Developing World Bioethics, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 86-103, 2007
18 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2009
Date Written: December 7, 2009
Rapid tests for HIV can now provide real-time assessment of the HIV status of pregnant women presenting inactive labor. They thus provide important information about the need for prophylactic treatment to reduce the likelihood of disease transmission during delivery. Although the need for treatment to protect the child is a strong argument for mandatory testing, in this article we contend that the ethical situation is more complex. The availability of treatment for the HIV woman herself and the possibility that knowledge of her HIV status might put her in physical or economic jeopardy are especially important factors that must weigh in the balance of any decision to mandate rapid testing.
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