Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Mandatory HIV testing for pregnant women in New Jersey

AP reports that New Jersey has passed a law that establishes a mandatory, opt-out program for testing pregnant women (and newborns at risk) for HIV.

New Jersey has about 17,600 AIDS cases, according to the Kaiser Foundation. Women represent 32.4 percent of the cases — the third highest rate in the nation. The national average is 23.4 percent.

The state has about 115,000 births per year and had seven infants born with HIV in 2005, according to state health department officials.

Bloomberg also reports:

Health-care providers will test pregnant women for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, in their first and third trimesters unless they refuse, according to the new law. Newborns whose mother's HIV status is positive or unknown at the time of delivery also will be tested.

The rate of mother-baby HIV transmission has been dramatically reduced due to increased testing and preemptive actions:

The number of children in the U.S. reported with AIDS attributed to HIV transmission during childbirth declined to 48 in 2004 from a peak of 945 in 1992, primarily because of the identification of infected pregnant women and the effectiveness of preventative drugs in reducing mother-to-child transmission, according to the CDC report.

Some questions for consideration:

* Does a woman's right to informational privacy outweigh the state's interest in preventing HIV transmission to newborns?

* Does the incurable nature of HIV lend more weight to the latter?

* Does a woman cede certain personal rights when she decides to carry a pregnancy to term?

* On a finer point - which is more desirable in this circumstance: "opt-in" or "opt-out"?


Anonymous said...

RETHINKING AIDS.............

Also note that JAMA (well respected medical magazine recently came out with the findings that HIV does NOT cause AIDS).

Florida, now New Jersey with these bills. What is this REALLY all about? Genocide or PROFIT for the pharmaceutical companies. I wonder if there is a "conflict of interest"
somewhere to be found. Politican's with stocks in some of these drug companies?

Anonymous said...


It is about HIV and I think HIV is very dangerous deciease in this time and if a person did not care about it so he became to near death.

Sharon said...


1 in 4 sexually active teenagers become infected with an STD every year, in the United States alone. Now, more than ever, we need to join together to fight this growing issue. As I read through your website, it is clear that you share the same passion for STD/STI awareness. We here, at, understand the importance of STD/STI prevention and treatments. If you could, please list us as a resource or host our social book mark button, it would be much appreciated. We can not reach every teenager, but together we can try.
If you need more information please mail me with the subject line as your URL.

Thnak You,
Sharon Vegoe