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Reproductive Justice Fact Sheet

April 19, 2011

Although millions of U.S. women access sexual and reproductive healthcare every year, few of those women are ever offered an HIV test. Similarly, data shows that HIV-positive women in the U.S. receive little or substandard sexual healthcare and information about reproductive options. With appropriate medical care, treatment, and supportive services, mother-to-child transmission has been virtually eliminated such that women living with HIV can bear HIV-negative children.

Reproductive justice for HIV-positive women means upholding our full spectrum of sexual and reproductive rights, including our right to choose when and how to be sexual and when or whether to have children and the information to make an informed decision. Reproductive Justice also extends to parenting and custody rights which are often taken away from women living with HIV.

"I made all reproductive decisions on my own. For example, I had a tubal ligation, and have since gotten married to an HIV-negative man who has no children. Big regret."
-- PWN Human Rights Survey, 2010


Background

"I was told by several doctors to abort the pregnancy. I was almost in my 2nd trimester before I knew I was pregnant. I ran out of many a doctor's offices in tears after being told I was 'selfish' or 'if that were my wife, I'd make her have an abortion.'"
-- PWN Human Rights Survey, 2010


Challenges

In 2009, persons aged 20-24 years were the largest percentage, 15%, of all new HIV cases.
-- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2009 Surveillance Report


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