This report and guide outlines the medical and legal issues surrounding HIV and pregnancy in the United States. It makes it clear that persistent beliefs among medical, social service, and justice system professionals that women with HIV should avoid childbearing are unsupported by medical science or the law. The guide is the first of its kind, and charts the intersecting medical, ethical, and legal issues that can arise for HIV-positive women who are or may become pregnant. It underscores not only the legal basis, but the public health advantage, of treating women as active partners in their own and their newborns' treatment, and recognizing their right to appropriate counseling and medical care that accommodates their reproductive options. The guide provides a frank, balanced discussion of the medical issues and options women will encounter at all stages or their pregnancy, and how to deal with legal issues that also may arise when their right to make choices are challenged.
The Center for HIV Law and Policy is a national legal and policy resource and strategy center working to reduce the impact of HIV on vulnerable and marginalized communities and to secure the human rights of people affected by HIV.