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Lost in the Shuffle: Women's Right to Choose, Not Just Refuse, HIV Testing

March 4, 2009

A flurry of outraged discussion has continued in the wake of the voiced objections of Colorado State Senator Dave Schultheis to a bill, SB-179, which would, among other things, require HIV testing of all pregnant women who don't explicitly object to the testing.

Schultheis provoked the ire of Colorado Democrats, and AIDS and gay rights advocates, when he said he planned to vote against the bill because AIDS "stems from sexual promiscuity" and because the Legislature shouldn't "remove the negative consequences that take place from poor behavior and unacceptable behavior." Schultheis cast the lone vote against the bill, which passed the Colorado State Senate 32-1 and now goes to the Colorado House of Representatives for their consideration.

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See Also
Quiz: Are You at Risk for HIV?
10 Common Fears About HIV Transmission
What Did You Expect While You Were Expecting?
HIV/AIDS Resource Center for Women
More on HIV Testing for Pregnant Women

Reader Comments:

Comment by: Mommy of one (East Coast) Thu., Mar. 12, 2009 at 9:10 pm UTC
I am HIV+ of 12 years, doing well and in 2006 at age 39 decided to become pregnant with my HIV- husband of 11 years. I think testing is so very important as ANY treatment can reduce the risk of MTC transmission. My health is great, my child is negative and I waited to consider pregnancy until I knew that the chances (with the right precautions taken ..AZT during delivery, c-section, my undetectable VL) of passing the virus to my child was less than 1%. I would never be able to forgive myself if I opted out of testing, had a baby that was born positive and could not change my decision. I think this is slightly different than "right to choose" I think it is providing the best care to the baby at the time of delivery. I would like to see prenatal testing in all states. I think it is that important, then we can have no babies born with HIV.
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