Healthcare Transmitted HIV: Informed Consent and Conflict of Interest

9 Oct

Don't Get Stuck With HIV

Research in Mozambique, Swaziland and Kenya has shown that a substantial proportion of HIV positive infants have HIV negative mothers. These infants are likely to have been infected through unsafe healthcare, perhaps reused syringes, needles or other equipment, lack of adherence to infection control procedures, etc.

Amnesty International has launched a campaign to gather information from the public about maternal deaths in Mpumalanga, South Africa. In particular, they are interested in HIV testing, informed consent and whether consent is given voluntarily.

But what kind of ‘information’ are Amnesty collecting? The South African Medical Association’s Ethical and Human Rights Guidelines on HIV and AIDS makes no mention of non-sexual transmission of HIV whatsoever. Is information about the likely source of an infant’s infection not considered to be a vital part of giving informed consent?

Is information about how a mother (or anyone else) may have been infected with HIV…

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