The bill to require mandatory AIDS testing for all pregnant women in the state has several complications. However, if I had to vote it would be for the bill to pass. More and more, children are dying because of the mother's refusal to be screened for AIDS. This bill has the potential to save many lives.
HIV is a complicated virus. It hides in the system and doesn't expose itself to do damage until your immune system breaks down. People who test positive can be fooled into thinking that they"re never going to be sick. A woman could have HIV for a substantial amount of time and not realize it. The only way to know for sure is to be tested. This mandate for testing and counseling gives the child a better chance at a normal and healthy life.
AIDS testing could reduce the number of babies born with AIDS. It could also reduce the number of babies born with HIV. Administering certain drugs could lower the risk of the virus being passed to the child. Even if the virus is passed to the child, there are precautions that could be taken to minimize the danger of the child contracting other infections such as PCP, which is a form of pneumonia.
Moreover, pregnant women who receive extensive pre-test counseling would further understand the benefits of AIDS testing. They need to know basic information on this disease before being tested. There could be a routine test commonly given to pregnant women for the disease. The mother would be able to obtain an AIDS test at anonymous or confidential test sites or in a doctor's office. At an anonymous test site, a woman getting the test remains anonymous, and the test and the results are assigned a number. This way the woman's test results are never matched to her identity. A file will be kept with the woman's information and the test results. Furthermore, this will encourage people to get tested. It will also eliminate the fear of discrimination, shame, or other factors that would interfere with someone wanting to be tested.