HIV is still a pretty taboo topic in some circles and I know there are still people out there with skewed views on the disease, how it is contracted and who gets it. Everyday people have contracted HIV, they aren’t all sex addicts, dirty needle users or whatever. Still many people look down on those who are infected.
The ignorance of some is unfortunate but sadly it does not surprise me. However, I was surprised to hear that a woman was forcibly sterilized in Chile because she was HIV positive (according to a press release I just received). I also found similar information already published online.
First off, forcible sterilization? Did you know that is happening? It brings to mind the cases of genetic mutilation that I’ve heard of in many countries. Both ideas are inhumane and just sickening to me. Besides how can a that sort of thing be acceptable?
Secondly, HIV positive sterilization? That is just ignorance based policy if you ask me. An HIV positive mother does not automatically mean an HIV positive child will be born. How can people not know that?
Further more how can large groups of people (and even governments) feel that it is best to strip the infected ones of their choice altogether? Preventing HIV infected people from procreating isn’t going to rid the population of HIV you know… Those people are still going to be having sex and could still infect others, regardless of wheather or not they produce offspring.
Wouldn’t it be better to insure those who are infected are aware of the infection and provided with the best medical treatment and knowledge about the disease? Knowledge and medical treatment are the best ways to prevent further spread of the diesease right?
If you were diagnosed as HIV positive would you become pregnant after learning of the diagnosis, why or why not? Additionally, would you want your reproductive rights preserved or would you be okay with forcible sterilization for those infected?
It is something most of us will never have to worry about but it is an interesting thing to ponder.
0 thoughts on “HIV discrimination and reproductive rights. Your thoughts?”
There’s apparently a lot of misinformation wandering about the world regarding HIV, including prevention and impact on lives. It’s absolutely scary that someone could have her reproductive possibilities forcibly removed. It’s also scary that in Kenya, FGM is being promoted as an HIV prevention method. Ignorance is deadly.
I don’t have an easy answer on whether or not I would become pregnant after receiving a positive HIV status. I feel like having children after receiving a + status would be selfish of me, adoption or pregnancy. But that would be my choice that would be made in the privacy of my own home, with my spouse and perhaps consultation with medical professionals. Taking away my rights to procreate and make decisions about my body is repugnant, regardless of whether or not I have a positive HIV status. Allowing the government to say “You cannot achieve pregnancy or carry to full term” is just as bad as allowing the government to say “You must achieve pregnancy and/or carry to full term”. Either way it’s still an inherent violation of my rights as a human.
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Forced sterilization has an ugly past and it’s not a very distant one.
Michelle put it much better than I ever could. On all points.
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Personally I would not get pregnant. I don’t feel it’s right to potentially pass on something like that. But forced sterilization????
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There was a thing on tv yesterday about this, whether or not a patient should know if a doctor is HIV, when the doctor knows if the patient is. I think for child birth, I wouldn’t want to have one knowing that I was, but I don’t think it should be out of my control if I chose to get pregnant. I can’t believe how much tv coverage we are having here about the mom who just had invetro for the 8 babies, and she already had 6 without a dad!
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Personally, I would choose not to get pregnant if I had HIV. But that’s just me. I watched my uncle die a slow HORRID death at the hands of HIV/AIDS and I’d never want to risk that of my own child… no matter what the percentage of risk would be and no matter the latest medical treatments.
I also don’t believe in forced sterilization. I do believe that government should provide free sterilization to any HIV positive woman AND man who seeks it.
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As someone who works in the medical profession, I know that there is a difference between HIV and AIDS. Being HIV positive isn’t necessarily a death sentence. It doesn’t always lead to AIDS. With proper meds, the T-cell count cam be maintained.
However, if I were HIV positive, I would not choose to get pregnant. Its not guaranteed that the virus can be passed from mother to baby, its not guaranteed that the virus won’t be passed either. That is not a bargain I’m willing to deal with. I would not want to impose any risk on a baby. I also would not to have to deal with the fact that I could get sick and die, leaving my child without a mother.
I don’t believe in forced sterilization. I do believe in education and affordable medications and health care. I believe that with the latter, we can prevent the former. But, if someone wants to be sterilized due to the fact that they have HIV, then they should be allowed to have it done.
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WTF? Just because you have HIV ir Aids, doesnt mean your any less of a person… Thats just like sterilizing a woman who has Downs. Im at a loss for words, the only thing I can think is: whaaaa? Huuuhhhh?
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What a great post! I am reading a great book called “PUSHED” and at them moment, my blood is boiling when I think of how women are abused in the reproductive world.
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I also read “Pushed” and it is what got me to thinking about alternative birthing choices in my area. Reproductive rights are a huge thing to me and it is scary how often those basic human rights are violated or limited by others. More people need to be aware of these abuses so they can speak out and stand up for the basic rights of everyone!
Glad you enjoyed the post, you should blog about the book when you finish it. It is a slew of great info.
Every time one of us loses a right, we all lose it. It may start with a law that says those who have HIV must be sterilized. The next step could be those who have hepatitis. The next step could be those who have a history of breast cancer in their family. Then it could be those who have freckles.
Yes, this is a stretch, but when you start taking away rights, it is a little bit here, and a little bit there, until we as a people have no rights left.
So, my answer: NO, it is not right. Give the woman information, birth control options, education, but let her make up her own mind about what action to take.
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The many ways governments find to violate human rights never fails to amaze me.
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