HIV Testing in Pregnant Women
HIV is a Human Immune Deficiency Virus that is primarily transmitted through sexual intercourse. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. This virus is passed from one person to another through blood and sexual contact. This virus is a very serious subject in many peoples lives, especially women. There are 16.6 million women worldwide living with the HIV virus. Only 43% are actually aware of their condition and the other 33% are unaware (Snelson). This is an even more severe matter to women who are pregnant with this virus. Getting pregnant with this virus can be very dangerous for both the mother and the baby. Therefore, getting tested can be very beneficial to keeping you and your child healthy throughout this time. This process is easy and will be the most important decision you make for a lifetime (Center for Disease Control and Prevention).
Many women, when they first find out they are pregnant, immediately seek medical attention. They do so because they feel that it is important or because this is just what they are brought up to do. Some ask to be tested for many types of things and constantly want to know how their baby is doing. Others only do the minimum required and think that if any problems were to occur that the Doctor would then let them know. Yes this may be true but it should also be your responsibility to take care and be aware of your body. Infected pregnant women can pass HIV to their baby during pregnancy or delivery, and through breast-feeding. Most people, if not treated immediately, have a great possibility they will develop AIDS as a result of their infection. The baby is most vulnerable from the birth until they have reached six months. (Erin Nicholson). This is because the child’s body is more sensitive in a way where their bodies are not use to certain things and they are higher risk. If the baby gets HIV while in the womb, its chances for life will be lessened. If a mother is aware of her disease, when finding out about her pregnancy the doctor will immediately put the mother on an antiretroviral so that the chances of the baby becoming infected is much more less. If the disease goes untreated for a long period of time then it can become very dangerous for the baby and the mother Personally, I agree with the idea of pregnant women getting tested for HIV. I believe that tested for sexually transmitted diseases and all other types of diseases should be mandatory when dealing with pregnancy. I feel this way because if someone wants to be a good mother, they should start by taking care and having precaution for the child early on. If you wait long enough it just might turn out to be too late to the point where nothing can be done to help the situation. I witnessed my best friend lose her child due to her being pregnant with HIV. This was and still is one of the most challenging and devastating times in her life. She was young when she was going through her pregnancy and she really didn’t have anyone there to give her guidance or to tell her to get tested for HIV. However, when she finally met someone to inform her of the testing she refused to do it because she said she trusted her child’s father and he was the only person she had slept with. What she did not know was that she was not the only person he had ever slept with. Although he never cheated on her during their relationship, he had a previous sex partner with the virus. He never found out which one of them gave it to him; all he knew was before he met my best friend he was infected. He never thought it was a good idea to tell my friend about this because he fell in love with her and didn’t want them to part.
When they found out they had conceived a child together, he would cry all of the time and tell her he did not want to keep the baby. She was hurt because she loved him and wanted to have a family. Finally, one day he told her. He sat her down alone and told her that he had HIV and he was sure she did...
1. Mills,John.“HIV Infection in Women” U.S National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 28, April 2010 Web. 14 May 2010
2. “HIV Positive Women and Their Babies after Birth” AIDS info (2009) Web. 14 May 2010.
3. Nicholism, Erin. “Mandatory HIV testing in Pregnant Women Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy 22 June 2002. Web
4. “Pregnancy and HIV.” Childbirth Solutions, Inc. center for disease control. 19 March 2010 Web.
5. “Perspectives on Mandatory HIV testing of pregnant women” over bodies Ourselves 28 January 2008. Web
6. Snelson, Shawn. Personal Interview. 1 April 2010
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