Thursday, May 31, 2007

Rethinking Mandatory HIV Testing

Anita Kleinsmidt and I have a paper in the AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH in which we propose to consider introducing mandatory HIV testing of pregnant women in high HIV prevalence areas (eg in Southern Africa). The available evidence suggests that the uptake of HIV testing increases the more difficult the state makes it for pregnant women to avoid it. We think that if women are given the option to have an abortion, and if they insist on carrying the fetus to term, they have some responsibility toward it. This includes the responsibility to ensure that the newborn they want to come into being has a good shot at a life worth living.
Anyway, check it out, the paper is currently available online in a First Look version. The final printed version should be available in the July issue of the journal.

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