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Keywords:

  • human immunodeficiency virus (HIV);
  • perinatal transmission;
  • ethics;
  • HIV testing;
  • opt out testing

ABSTRACT

Critical advances in prevention of mother-to-child-transmission (MTCT) of the HIV in the perinatal period have changed practice recommendations for HIV screening for pregnant women. Using case studies we illustrate the ethical complexities and implications of opt-out HIV testing for pregnant women. Despite the potential for compromised informed consent, an opt-out HIV screening approach is ethically defensible.