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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2000 Dec 15;25 Suppl 2:S136-43.

Ethical issues in early detection of HIV infection to reduce vertical transmission.

Author information

1
The Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, the Program in Medical Ethics, and the Division of General Internal Medicine, University of California San Francisco, USA. bernie@medicine.ucsf.edu

Abstract

Proposals to make prenatal HIV testing routine and universal dramatize ethical issues regarding early detection of HIV. These proposals would abolish pretest counseling and written informed consent for prenatal HIV testing. Ethical concerns include whether pregnant women are adequately informed that they may refuse such testing and whether patients have an opportunity to obtain more detailed information about the benefits and risks of HIV testing in this context. Several pertinent research questions need to be studied, including whether pregnant women find routine universal HIV testing acceptable and whether safeguards adequately protect women who receive testing. If analogous policies to enhance early detection of HIV are considered in other clinical contexts, the important clinical and ethical differences between vertical transmission and other situations of HIV transmission must be kept clearly in mind.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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