Mandatory hiv testing in pregnancy: Is there ever a time?

Developing World Bioethics 8 (1):1–10 (2008)
Despite recent advances in ways to prevent transmission of HIV from a mother to her child during pregnancy, infants continue to be born and become infected with HIV, particularly in southern Africa where HIV prevalence is the highest in the world. In this region, emphasis has shifted from voluntary HIV counselling and testing to routine testing of women during pregnancy. There have also been proposals for mandatory testing. Could mandatory testing ever be an option, even in high-prevalence settings? Many previous examinations of mandatory testing have dealt with it in the context of low HIV prevalence and a well-resourced health care system. In this discussion, different assumptions are made. Within this context, where mandatory testing may be a strategy of last resort, the objections to it are reviewed. Special attention is paid in the discussion to the entrenched vulnerability of women in much of southern Africa and how this contributes to both HIV prevalence and ongoing challenges for preventing HIV transmission during pregnancy. While mandatory testing is ethically plausible, particularly when coupled with guaranteed access to treatment and care, the discussion argues that the moment to employ this strategy has not yet come. Many barriers remain for pregnant women in terms of access to testing, treatment and care, most acutely in the southern African setting, despite the presence of national and international human rights instruments aimed at empowering women and removing such barriers. While this situation persists, mandatory HIV testing during pregnancy cannot be justified
Keywords rights  HIV/AIDS  transmission  newborn  sub‐Saharan Africa  mandatory testing  gender
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1471-8847.2007.00214.x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,209
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Gerald A. Kelly (1958). Medico-Moral Problems. St. Louis, Catholic Hospital Association of the United States and Canada.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

31 ( #153,086 of 1,941,042 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #458,101 of 1,941,042 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.