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HIV Testing of Pregnant Women and Newborns

Robert M. Wachter, MD; Molly Cooke, MD; Margaret L. Brandeau, PhD; Douglas K. Owens, MD
JAMA. 1991;265(12):1525. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03460120039015.
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To the Editor.—  The article by the Working Group on HIV Testing of Pregnant Women and Newborns1 is a useful contribution to the public discourse regarding testing. However, we must voice our strong dissent over the Working Group's categorical rejection of "targeted" approaches to the dissemination of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) information and screening.Although the authors acknowledge the important role of testing and education in decreasing the spread of HIV infection and in informing infected individuals of the availability of effective therapies, they eschew "targeting" the "poor women and children of color living in the inner cities of a few metropolitan areas" because "targeting by sociodemographic criteria is... invidiously discriminatory...." Instead, the authors recommend informing and testing everyone.If resources were unlimited, such an approach might be workable. While it is undoubtedly true that poor women and children of color are subject to discrimination and that a targeted

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