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March 27, 1991

HIV Testing of Pregnant Women and Newborns-Reply

Author Affiliations

The Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, Md

The Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, Md

JAMA. 1991;265(12):1526. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03460120039018

In Reply. —  Wachter et al take exception to our position on targeting, raising many of the same objections we discussed and refuted in our article. Interestingly, they do not engage any of our counterarguments, nor do they confront the central issue of whether it is in the interests of public health to restrict educational programs to only those women who are at highest risk. Also, it should be noted that our rejection of targeted policies for HIV education and testing of pregnant women, new mothers, and newborns is not categorical. We specifically endorse varying the intensity of the educational effort in accord with the significance of HIV infection and drug use in local communities.Dr Jensen objects to our position that testing should be voluntary. He believes that policies of mandatory screening and contact tracing can reduce HIV transmission rates. Insofar as this position is correct, it argues for