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May 14, 1997

HIV, AIDS and Childbearing

Author Affiliations

Kennedy Institute of Ethics Georgetown University Washington, DC

JAMA. 1997;277(18):1480-1481. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540420076035

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


AIDS and Childbearing

Some might believe that women infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) who know they will die and who stand a 25% to 30% chance of having children who are HIV-infected ought not have children. This book sharply challenges that assumption. It develops a case for respecting the reproductive decisions of informed HIV-positive women, drawing from contributions by physicians, lawyers, ethicists, and public health professionals, as well as interviews with HIV-infected women and those who provide them with care.

Each chapter in this rich mine of 17 contributions is well worth reading, not only by those with a special interest in the subject, but by those concerned about the appropriate role of health care professionals and government in influencing patient choices.

The seminal argument in the volume is provided by Anita Allen, who maintains that it can be morally justifiable for women who are HIV-infected to have