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#61 of 107 Old 12-30-2009, 03:45 AM
 
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lots of good points in this thread!

i am going to have to read up on all the posts...

i am on the fence on this one... i will just peek in

Your life doesnât change by the man whos elected. If your loved by someone you can't be rejected... decide what to be and go be it! If your a caged bird brake in and demand that somebody free it.
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#62 of 107 Old 12-30-2009, 12:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by noobmom View Post
Well, that is kinda what I'm saying, although I would hope that it's not underground in the sense that it's illegal. You wouldn't go to a traditional Western doctor and when you're looking for a neuropathic remedy, would you? Or for an acupuncture treatment? No, of course not. Neither would you go to a chiropractor if you wanted a surgical treatment
Well, first off, choosing HB does end up being somewhat illegal in many states. Here in Maryland, direct entry midwifery, "CPMs", are illegal. It's not illegal for the couple to use their services, but it is illegal for them to "practice medicine without a license."

Second, HB MWs and FSBC are scarce in the US. Many women have no options but hospitals or UC.

& finally, some women truly NEED the care of an OB! High-risk for whatever reason, needing a CS for complete placenta previa, etc. So they may NEED or even WANT some degree of medical care, but do NOT want the whole package. Again, it is wrong & unreasonable to say, "If you want/need a hospital birth, you MUST conform to EVERYTHING they 'advise.'" It's wrong, just plain wrong.

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However, I think people put doctors in a difficult position when they choose to withhold important information. Doctors are trained to make recommendations based on the information given. You are essentially asking them to "fly blind" if you refuse testing that is designed to allow them to make the best decisions possible.
I see what you are saying here & I agree with the concept. For example, if someone wanted an OB or MW to NEVER listen to the baby's heart beat (during prenatal visits as well as in labor & delivery), that would be so extreme that it would be more than fair for that HCP to say, "Well then I can't have you as a client."

But I don't think HIV testing crosses that threshold personally.

In my above example, fetal HR is a crucial indicator that a maternity HCP needs in order to make decisions & recommendations related to maternity care.

But even if a PG mom IS HIV+, she can refuse to treat the HIV. In which case, the maternity HCP would continue maternity care just as normal. After all, can't people live healthy lives while being HIV+? So the HCP should treat the PG mama based on any symptoms she does show.
My point being, if an HIV+ Mama were to refuse treatment of HIV, it wouldn't impact how the pregnancy & birth are cared for anyway. So it is NOT a "flying blind" issue.

Besides, as I've said, I personally will refuse it with #2 (Unless my MW really wants me to, then I'll cave, It's not that big of a deal.) But I would initially refuse because I know it's pointless... because I trust my DH with my life and the lives of our children. So I know he would tell me if I should get re-tested. (I had the test with baby #1 already.)
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#63 of 107 Old 12-30-2009, 12:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Kidzaplenty View Post
But the same thing happens for the other newborn screenings (PKU and such), so again, are you against all manditory testing or only the HIV?
This Q was asked of me too & I haven't answered it. I don't really have an opinion on these.
I think it's comparing apples to oranges in a way. One is mandatory testing of ADULTS, the other mandatory screenings of CHILDREN.

The thing is, legal precedents already exist stating that the law cannot force an adult to undergo any medical treatment or procedure for the benefit of their child. (Yes, you could have the old "calling CPS" issue), but a mama can't be legally forced to do something to her own body in order to benefit her child - such as donate a kidney.

To put it more succinctly, being a parent, as well as a PG women, doesn't legally compel you to sacrifice your own bodily autonomy & right to independently make your own health care decisions.

The government being involved in the welfare of children by legally mandating newborn screenings, well, that is a separate issue.
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#64 of 107 Old 12-30-2009, 12:18 PM
 
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Sure, the mom can accept or reject treatment, but how exactly does the doctor even know WHAT to recommend without knowing her status? No, the doctor doesn't make the choice, but by not testing, you've taken away a major piece of information. Do you understand why that would be frustrating and unfair (yes, unfair) to a doctor?

Again, I view treatment and testing quite differently.
Bolding mine.
I just realized, if you agree with me that the woman has a right to decline any treatment for HIV, then why do you disagree with my argument that the woman should have the right to decide whether to get tested in the first place?? That doesn't make sense!

If she knows she doesn't want treatment anyway, why would she get tested?
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#65 of 107 Old 12-30-2009, 12:56 PM
 
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How is this about Creationism vs. Darwinism at all?
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#66 of 107 Old 12-30-2009, 01:04 PM
 
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Whoa, SosoLyn, how many slurs can you work into one post. How is this about Creationism vs. Darwinism at all?
Well, clearly I'm not soso-lynn, but what she wrote is:
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Originally Posted by soso-lynn View Post
I did not realize that you were one of those people who chose to ignore science and facts in favor of conspiracy theories. I guess there is no point debating this with you just like there is no point discussing any kind of science with a creationnist or any such denier of reality.
I think it's pretty clear, she is saying that a creationist is someone who denies reality & ignores science. Therefore, there is no point debating with them (because they will ignore facts in favor of holding on to a belief that is contrary to science & contrary to facts.)

I don't see how that is a "slur." It is a fact that (specifically) young-earth/ anti-Darwinism creationists DO choose to ignore science. That's the truth of the matter. No slur there.
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#67 of 107 Old 12-30-2009, 04:10 PM
 
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This Q was asked of me too & I haven't answered it. I don't really have an opinion on these.
I think it's comparing apples to oranges in a way. One is mandatory testing of ADULTS, the other mandatory screenings of CHILDREN.
It is not really different, because if the mother chooses not to be tested, they will test the child. So, it IS a mandatory screening of children with the only difference that the mother can choose to test herself before hand rather than have the child tested at birth.

Any misspellings or grammatical errors in the above statement are intentional;
they are placed there for the amusement of those who like to point them out.
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#68 of 107 Old 12-30-2009, 05:28 PM
 
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I don't see how that is a "slur." It is a fact that (specifically) young-earth/ anti-Darwinism creationists DO choose to ignore science. That's the truth of the matter. No slur there.
My dictionary defines "slur" as:
Quote:
to cast aspersions on; calumniate; disparage; depreciate

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Originally Posted by soso-lynn View Post
I did not realize that you were one of those people who chose to ignore science and facts in favor of conspiracy theories. I guess there is no point debating this with you just like there is no point discussing any kind of science with a creationnist or any such denier of reality.
(bolding mine)

soso-lynn's remarks were quite inflammatory IMHO. Not everyone is enamoured with our Western idolization of science and technology. There are those of use who question the establishment's (including the scientific community) methods, materials, and world view. That doesn't make us ignorant and shouldn't make us target for derision. Your (general) reality isn't necessarily the right version and certainly isn't the only version. How is an attitude like the one displayed above any different from the attitude of an OB who derides a mother for choosing to VBAC, when the science he believes clearly tells him that it is a dangerous and irresponsible thing to do? We all have different comfort and acceptance levels of studies and recommendations. The sheer amount of funding available for AIDS research gives me pause, and I personally feel that these laws mandating testing are reflections of the $$$ invested in AIDS in the US and worldwide.

I also liken the impact that the high false-positive rate will have on a woman's pregnancy to the parallel discussion WRT prenatal screening. Buckley's Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering has an excellent chapter discussing this. How will a false positive change a mother's perception of her health, her body, her baby, her future? Should we be subjecting pregnant women to that kind of stress and disruption during her pregnancy? What is the emotional and psychological cost and to how many women and babies, and is that cost worth it to possibly find and treat a few HIV-positive babies? How many HIV-positive babies would actually benefit from this policy? What are the broader implications this holds for American women's ability to refuse standard care and treatment? For the US government's power over the physical bodies of its citizens?
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#69 of 107 Old 12-30-2009, 10:18 PM
 
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I assume this is correct, but I have never been able to find an explanation of how the rate of false positives could be determined. When would you decide a positive test result had been false? Or is the 1 in 250,000 a theoretical estimate?
Once someone is diagnosed, further tests such as a viral load are done and everything is correlated with clinical information. The rate of false positives is an actual figure. Since the vast majority of true false positives have a known cause, it is somewhat easy to identify them.

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But even if a PG mom IS HIV+, she can refuse to treat the HIV. In which case, the maternity HCP would continue maternity care just as normal. After all, can't people live healthy lives while being HIV+? So the HCP should treat the PG mama based on any symptoms she does show.
My point being, if an HIV+ Mama were to refuse treatment of HIV, it wouldn't impact how the pregnancy & birth are cared for anyway. So it is NOT a "flying blind" issue.
Maternity and immediate post-partum care would be drastically altered. The kind of birth will have an impact on transmission rates as well as the medication given to the mother and/or the child. Even if a mother refuses ARTs, there are still ways to minimize the risks of transmission. I personnally think that this is a case where the argument to force treatment could have some grounds to be made (I am not saying it should just that a compelling case can be made). If someone who knows they have HIV has unprotected sex and fails to notify their partners, they can go to jail. Why would we accept that a mother could willingly pass HIV to her child when it can easily be avoided?

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How is this about Creationism vs. Darwinism at all?
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Originally Posted by MegBoz View Post
Well, clearly I'm not soso-lynn, but what she wrote is:


I think it's pretty clear, she is saying that a creationist is someone who denies reality & ignores science. Therefore, there is no point debating with them (because they will ignore facts in favor of holding on to a belief that is contrary to science & contrary to facts.)

I don't see how that is a "slur." It is a fact that (specifically) young-earth/ anti-Darwinism creationists DO choose to ignore science. That's the truth of the matter. No slur there.
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My dictionary defines "slur" as:





(bolding mine)

soso-lynn's remarks were quite inflammatory IMHO. Not everyone is enamoured with our Western idolization of science and technology. There are those of use who question the establishment's (including the scientific community) methods, materials, and world view. That doesn't make us ignorant and shouldn't make us target for derision. Your (general) reality isn't necessarily the right version and certainly isn't the only version. How is an attitude like the one displayed above any different from the attitude of an OB who derides a mother for choosing to VBAC, when the science he believes clearly tells him that it is a dangerous and irresponsible thing to do? We all have different comfort and acceptance levels of studies and recommendations. The sheer amount of funding available for AIDS research gives me pause, and I personally feel that these laws mandating testing are reflections of the $$$ invested in AIDS in the US and worldwide.

I also liken the impact that the high false-positive rate will have on a woman's pregnancy to the parallel discussion WRT prenatal screening. Buckley's Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering has an excellent chapter discussing this. How will a false positive change a mother's perception of her health, her body, her baby, her future? Should we be subjecting pregnant women to that kind of stress and disruption during her pregnancy? What is the emotional and psychological cost and to how many women and babies, and is that cost worth it to possibly find and treat a few HIV-positive babies? How many HIV-positive babies would actually benefit from this policy? What are the broader implications this holds for American women's ability to refuse standard care and treatment? For the US government's power over the physical bodies of its citizens?
I think MegBoz explained it correctly. If you choose to say that Earth was created 10000 years ago or that HIV does not cause AIDS or that global warming is not real, you are in fact ignoring science. You are free to say that you prefer religion or whatever else you base your ideas on but the fact still remains that you are ignoring reality and facts and that no coherent debate can happen.

There is also a major difference between thinking critically about scientific methologies and biases in research and denying facts.

Also, testing for HIV cannot be compared to prenatal testing for genetic abnormalities. The purpose of one of those is to prevent transmission of an infectious disease and the other is to benefit the parent in terms of choosing how to handle the pregnancy.

And, ONCE AGAIN, false positives are only a noteworthy issue with ELISA antibody tests which, on their own, do not diagnose HIV. HIV is diagnosed by repetively positive ELISAs and a positive WB test. In addition to that, other further testing can be done to type the virus RNA and calculated the viral load. Fear of false positives, although clearly unfounded, should therefore be an argument for testing early in pregnancy to have time to get further testing and have a definite result before it is time to make decisions about appropriate care.

In my city, the local HIV pregnancy clinic that treats pregnant women with HIV, there has been zero cases of maternal transmission in the past decade. Without that kind of care (which includes striving for natural childbirth in most cases, the exception being women with an extremely high viral load), the rate would be at least 1 in 4. I just don't understand how people can choose to not get a simple test that can make such a difference in fetal outcomes.

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#70 of 107 Old 12-31-2009, 01:07 AM
 
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Originally Posted by soso-lynn View Post
Once someone is diagnosed, further tests such as a viral load are done and everything is correlated with clinical information. The rate of false positives is an actual figure. Since the vast majority of true false positives have a known cause, it is somewhat easy to identify them.
Okay - I realize I am going to sound stupid, but I really can't find the explanation I am looking for anywhere, so please bear with me.
One test is confirmed by further tests. I get that. But how do you know that the further tests are accurate, and not giving a false positive? With other diseases, there might be obvious symptoms within a short period of time. Someone with a positive HIV test, on the other hand, might appear perfectly healthy in every way, and might continue to appear healthy for years. Does every person who tests HIV positive, except 1 in 250,000, develop AIDS symptoms in a predictable length of time? And if so, how do you distinguish AIDS symptoms from side effects of AIDS drugs, since I understand there is a great deal of overlap?
Maybe I am missing something obvious, but these are the concerns that would make me hesitate to accept an HIV test.
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#71 of 107 Old 12-31-2009, 11:15 AM
 
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I think MegBoz explained it correctly. If you choose to say that Earth was created 10000 years ago or that HIV does not cause AIDS or that global warming is not real, you are in fact ignoring science. You are free to say that you prefer religion or whatever else you base your ideas on but the fact still remains that you are ignoring reality and facts and that no coherent debate can happen.

There is also a major difference between thinking critically about scientific methologies and biases in research and denying facts.
There is data by respected scientific researchers that indicates that global warming is NOT real. I don't want to derail this thread any further by bringing in the global warming debate, but the point at which theory becomes fact is quite blurred. You may believe these things to be absolute truth, and that is completely fine. What is NOT completely fine is your stubborn and elitist insistence that those who view the world differently are ignorant of the "facts." Science is changeable. This isn't a new problem. Remember when the earth was flat?

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And, ONCE AGAIN, false positives are only a noteworthy issue with ELISA antibody tests which, on their own, do not diagnose HIV. HIV is diagnosed by repetively positive ELISAs and a positive WB test. In addition to that, other further testing can be done to type the virus RNA and calculated the viral load. Fear of false positives, although clearly unfounded, should therefore be an argument for testing early in pregnancy to have time to get further testing and have a definite result before it is time to make decisions about appropriate care.
Not sure how the fear of false positives is unfounded? They DO happen, frequently, with ELISA. My point is not that the vast majority of these false positives wouldn't be corrected with further testing. It is that, once a pregnant woman hears such crushing news in the middle of her pregnancy, you can't undo the damage that causes. "Oops, the test was wrong" doesn't help the agonizing weeks, the fear, the stress, the planning, the crying, the anguish. And the subsequent effects these things would have on her unborn baby. A pregnant woman who chooses not to subject herself to testing should be allowed that choice.
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#72 of 107 Old 12-31-2009, 04:58 PM
 
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Okay - I realize I am going to sound stupid, but I really can't find the explanation I am looking for anywhere, so please bear with me.
One test is confirmed by further tests. I get that. But how do you know that the further tests are accurate, and not giving a false positive? With other diseases, there might be obvious symptoms within a short period of time. Someone with a positive HIV test, on the other hand, might appear perfectly healthy in every way, and might continue to appear healthy for years. Does every person who tests HIV positive, except 1 in 250,000, develop AIDS symptoms in a predictable length of time? And if so, how do you distinguish AIDS symptoms from side effects of AIDS drugs, since I understand there is a great deal of overlap?
Maybe I am missing something obvious, but these are the concerns that would make me hesitate to accept an HIV test.
A false positive on a viral load is not possible as they actually look for copies of the virus. Only false negatives could occur with that test since the viral load can be so low as to be undetectable. If there is any doubt that the test may be a false positive, a PCR test and a repeat of the previous tests with a new sample would be done. In those cases, the western blot may be positive but lacking a response to certain antigens that make it uncertain. The lab report would normally explain that.

Alos, it is important to understand that drugs are not necessarily started the second someone gets a confirmed positive. A more complete health analysis is done and consultations with specialists are necessary to determine a proper drug course, if they are needed right away. In the case of a pregnant woman, those decisions are not taken lightly given that drugs do have a certain toxicity. In the case of someone who has an undetectable viral load (as it would be for a false positive), treatment would be much more conservative and tests would be repeated several times, providing there was time to make such decisions (the third trimester is when the drugs are important).

I assume it is theoretically possible for someone to get a true false positive that would only be proven negative after treatment was begun (probably more common in developing countries where there is not as much access to follow up testing and medication would be started as soon as possible if available at all). Those instances would have to be extremely rare though, not even statiscally significant. You also need to keep in mind that, once again providing there is no huge rush such as a positive test right before delivery and such, HIV specialists tend to be very thorough and not stuck in the 80s panic and fear about HIV. If you take the worst-case scenario and think about what would happen if you had a true false positive, you can definitely be assured that clinical information (risk factors, behaviour, etc) would also be taken into consideration and no one would just run to the courts to force medicine on you.

You can probably ask your HCP what their procedure would be in the event of a positive result and have that discussion in advance. You might see that there is a great system in place and be a lot more comfortable. Alternatively, you might realize that your HCP is completely ignorant and insensitive (sadly many still are but remember that your OB/midwife would not be in charge of your HIV treatment or further diagnosis if required). In that case, it might be a good idea to switch providers and find someone better.

I do think that the main reason why HIV is such a scary test to have is due to the stigma and fear attached to it from the beginning of the pandemic. For instance, most people will get tested for hepatitis B and C (who, by the way, are much more complicated to diagnose accurately) without being so worried about false positives and whether or not they are at risk. That kind of attitude is not only detrimental to proper care of those infected, it also is a great perpetuator of racism and other social discrimination. I think that the easiest way to overcome that and stop the social devastation caused by HIV is to start viewing it as any other infectious disease and not as something special or different. It is really ridiculous that we are at the point where some legislations feel the need to make it mandatory. Most of those laws actually come from the point of view that making it compulsory alleviates the burden on patients of having to fully disclose their lifestyle or be afraid that asumptions will be made about them if they choose to get it done. For example, there is no need to make testing for rh sensitization required by law since no stigma is attached to a positive result.


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Not sure how the fear of false positives is unfounded? They DO happen, frequently, with ELISA. My point is not that the vast majority of these false positives wouldn't be corrected with further testing. It is that, once a pregnant woman hears such crushing news in the middle of her pregnancy, you can't undo the damage that causes. "Oops, the test was wrong" doesn't help the agonizing weeks, the fear, the stress, the planning, the crying, the anguish. And the subsequent effects these things would have on her unborn baby. A pregnant woman who chooses not to subject herself to testing should be allowed that choice.
Once again, ELISA alone is a SCREENING test so yes, it is DESIGNED to have a certain rate of false positive in order to minimize false negatives. That is the purpose of a screening test. Unless her HCP does not know how to read lab reports, a diagnosis of HIV would absolutely never be given after an initial positive ELISA. Normal procedure is to not even mention it to the patient. The only case where it would be mentionned to the patient is if a new sample is needed for confirmation testing which is rarely the case. In that situation, the patient would be told that the test is not yet conslusive. In the vast majority of cases the sample would be retested and the WB would be done before the ordering physician even got a report. Also, in most cases of false positive ELISAs, the result would be a very low number. Say the threshold for positive is 1.5, the result might be a 1.7 or a 2 while a true positive would likely be a 40 or 50. That information would also be given if repeat testing was needed.

As I said before, the easy solution to that is to either get tested on a regular basis before or during any attempts to conceive and to have a discussion with the HCP regarding their exact protocol for handling results. It is perfectly reasonnable to expect your HCP to have up to date information on HIV and its testing methods and get assurance in advance that any positive ELISA result would be handled according to science and not ignorant HCP panic.

I absolutely do agree that informed consent should always be the basis of any HCP/patient interaction and that things such as the emotional impact of delayed results and such should be taken into consideration (this is where a parallel can be drawn with prenatal genetic testing). However, I do not think that the solution is to not get tested but rather to improve HCP's knowledge and manner of conveying information as well as improving available information and consent procedures for patients and getting rid of the special stigma ascribed to certain diseases.

When people start equating getting tested for certain diseases with the level of trust in their marriage and other things of the sort, we end up with simple things reaching irrational levels of complication such as laws forcing things on patients.

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#73 of 107 Old 12-31-2009, 05:12 PM
 
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It is that, once a pregnant woman hears such crushing news in the middle of her pregnancy, you can't undo the damage that causes. "Oops, the test was wrong" doesn't help the agonizing weeks, the fear, the stress, the planning, the crying, the anguish. And the subsequent effects these things would have on her unborn baby.
First, I supose this could happen, but I would think, as in my case, where I truly believed I had about a zero chance of ever being infected, that I would more likely disregard any "positive" as a false positive until such a time I had further testing to back it up. No worries or stress or crushing news. And if I did end up with a true positive, I would be very happy to just know so I could deal with it.

But, perhaps I am just different than anyone else.

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A pregnant woman who chooses not to subject herself to testing should be allowed that choice.
As far as I know, a pg woman can choose not to subject herself to such testing. However, the consequence of such a choice is having the baby tested once it is born.

I would think, in the benefit of the baby, it would be better to have the mom tested rather than the baby (even if it does lead to stress for a bit prior to birth).

Any misspellings or grammatical errors in the above statement are intentional;
they are placed there for the amusement of those who like to point them out.
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#74 of 107 Old 12-31-2009, 08:24 PM
 
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As far as I know, a pg woman can choose not to subject herself to such testing. However, the consequence of such a choice is having the baby tested once it is born.

I would think, in the benefit of the baby, it would be better to have the mom tested rather than the baby (even if it does lead to stress for a bit prior to birth).
And so would probably nearly every pregnant woman agree with you. And so there is no real choice there. And no one should be forced to choose between unwanted tests and procedures for themselves vs unwanted tests and procedures for their baby. This is a basic human right and bodily integrity issue for me. I don't want any other person or government telling me what to do with my body, or with my baby's body. And it is certainly inappropriate to pit one against the other.
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While I agree with you, I don't think that it is really any different than the PKU+ tests that a majority of MDC is all in favor of. Which I find just as much an intrusion on my basic (and my baby's) human rights. That is why I asked.

I can't see someone arguing that the PKU is a "good" thing and should be required "for the benefit of the baby" and arguing against the HIV testing. To me, they are exactly the same thing.

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#76 of 107 Old 12-31-2009, 09:22 PM
 
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Again, it is wrong & unreasonable to say, "If you want/need a hospital birth, you MUST conform to EVERYTHING they 'advise.'" It's wrong, just plain wrong.
Agreeing that a HIV test can be mandated does not mean I think that a pregnant woman needs to agree to everything. It's one test.

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Bolding mine.
I just realized, if you agree with me that the woman has a right to decline any treatment for HIV, then why do you disagree with my argument that the woman should have the right to decide whether to get tested in the first place?? That doesn't make sense!

If she knows she doesn't want treatment anyway, why would she get tested?
I see treatment as something you're subjected to--it alters your body and can have many side effects. Getting tested (at least in the case of a blood test) is much less physically intrusive. And in the case of a pregnant woman who is willing to give birth with a OB/in a hospital, it's almost guaranteed that you will have blood drawn at some point for some other reason anyway.

Again, she would get tested in order to provide the most accurate medical profile possible to her HCPs, so that they can make the best recommendations that they are trained to make.

Some PPs have brought up the fact that this debate seems very centered on the fact that it's specifically HIV, when there are many other tests that are mandated for pregnant women/newborns. I agree that it's due to the stigma that goes along with being infected with HIV--and perhaps that is why I am not up-in-arms about mandated HIV testing. It's time we moved away from fear that surrounds HIV and treat it like the medical disease that is it--without any moral judgments.

Interestingly enough, the CDC recommends opt-out testing for pregnant women. In other words, testing is done by default, but you can opt-out.

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwr...cid=rr5514a1_e

However, they also seem to advocate screening of newborns (no mention of an opt-out) if the mother delivers with an unknown HIV status.

I think this is a very interesting thread and I hope it doesn't get derailed!
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Interestingly enough, the CDC recommends opt-out testing for pregnant women. In other words, testing is done by default, but you can opt-out.

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwr...cid=rr5514a1_e

However, they also seem to advocate screening of newborns (no mention of an opt-out) if the mother delivers with an unknown HIV status.
This issue of testing mandated by law with possible legal reprisal is very specific to American health care and culture. In all other countries, the debate as always been between an opt-in system and an opt-out system. Most countries have adopted an opt-out system. It is nowhere but in the US a legal issue. The same applies to any other test for mother and/or baby as well as vaccination and such. No law in Canada could ever force anyone to vaccinate their children or even have to apply for any religious exemption. Culturally, it just does not make sense. It is actually kind of ironic that a country that emphasizes so much personal freedom and is weary of any government interference ends up with such Orwellian situations.

It would be interesting, if anyone has this info handy, to get a list of states that legally require HIV testing and to have the specific text of those laws.

Single mom to E (2004) and D (2010)
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While I agree with you, I don't think that it is really any different than the PKU+ tests that a majority of MDC is all in favor of. Which I find just as much an intrusion on my basic (and my baby's) human rights. That is why I asked.

I can't see someone arguing that the PKU is a "good" thing and should be required "for the benefit of the baby" and arguing against the HIV testing. To me, they are exactly the same thing.
The issue is the same IMO also. I believe women should have the choice to opt out of metabolic testing if they desire.

Totally agree on the Orwellian irony. I think a large part of it is the for-profit medical system in place here. I don't believe for a second that most lawmakers know everything, or even much, about the intricacies of the laws they pass. Other people do the thinking, pass on recommendations, and then there is a cursory review before voting. Our government depends on "expert" opinion to make policy. Doctors are presumed to be medical experts, highly influenced by pharmaceutical companies and other healthcare enterprises. I am against public health care because I don't believe the power shift would occur that is necessary to create reform. I think the same players would still have power, but now there would be the force of law and punitive threat behind their agendas.
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I was tested with several of my pregnancies. In our State, though, the test is encouraged but not required. I declined it this time.

I can just imagine my health insurance adjustor looking at my paperwork and thinking, "she's getting an HIV test again? What is she DOING?"

I don't need anyone thinking I am a bigger health risk than I really am.

If I want a test in the future, I will pay out of pocket- but I definitely won't be forced.

I wonder if the "mandates" are in response to insurance questions.. for example, if I lived in a State where testing was required with each pregnancy I guess the insurance companies would be used to seeing the repeated tests and wouldn't question it?
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#80 of 107 Old 01-01-2010, 03:05 PM
 
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I wonder if the "mandates" are in response to insurance questions.. for example, if I lived in a State where testing was required with each pregnancy I guess the insurance companies would be used to seeing the repeated tests and wouldn't question it?
Yes, a huge part of it has to do with money. If a test is required by law then it must be paid for. Also, there was a time when insurance companies and such (even employers) would actually assume that someone getting an HIV test is either engaging in homosexual sex or doing drugs and people would loose coverage, jobs and be "outed" for it. That is why anonymous testing centers were created. One of the motivations for some of those laws may well have been to stop that attitude and allow for people to be tested without fear of people make assumptions about them. That is why, while I do oppose theoretically any legal mandate for any test, I do think that the intentions behind such legislation are not to be able to control people's bodies and their lives but rather to make it easier and lessen the stigma.

In a public health care system, there are no insurance companies involved and those issues are a lot less relevant. Actually, I have noticed that here in Canada, if someone refuses the test, that is when people get a bit suspicious and HCPs might have a lenghtier discussion about it.

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I did not realize that you were one of those people who chose to ignore science and facts in favor of conspiracy theories. I guess there is no point debating this with you just like there is no point discussing any kind of science with a creationnist or any such denier of reality.
You can't lump me into your neat little categories.

I am a left-wing, atheist intellectual with a bachelor's degree, and I adore science--and Darwin, for that matter.

I doubt that the creationists would want to hang out with me.
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#82 of 107 Old 01-02-2010, 08:24 PM
 
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There is absolutely no debate in the scientific community on what causes AIDS and most tests for most infectious diseases are for antibodies.
Yes, there is. It's just that the scientists who disagree with the sacred cow AIDS propaganda are censored and ostracized and lose their jobs.

Luc Montagnier, the French scientist who discovered HIV (even though Gallo stole all the credit), does not believe that HIV causes AIDS, although he hasn't always been forthright with his opinion, probably because it's professional suicide to do so.

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Montagnier states that someone with a healthy immune system could be exposed to HIV many times without being chronically infected and that it is malnutrition that makes the immune systems of Africans weak and the diseases of TB, malaria and parasitic infections. “Water is key”, clearly meaning clean water, without parasites and pollutants.
http://rethinkingaids.com/
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#83 of 107 Old 01-02-2010, 08:27 PM
 
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Cases where a baby would be treated after a false positive would be if the mother was not tested during her pregnancy and only tested at the birth. At that time, there is no time to wait for confirmation since immediate treatment can literally save the baby's life.
What if the mother does NOT want her baby to receive drugs to "treat" a supposed HIV "infection"? Can she REFUSE treatment for her baby?
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#84 of 107 Old 01-02-2010, 08:34 PM
 
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The actual rate of false positives for HIV tests (I mean with confirmation) is 1 in 250,000 and the vast majority of those cases have a known cause such as having partcipated in a vaccine trial or having multiple transfusions.
You can't NOT count screenings as part of the false positive statistics because they start drugging the baby based on the highly erroneous screenings! So, there are dire consequences of the false positives of the less-accurate tests.

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24 percent of the positive rapid "Single-Use Diagnostic System" (SUDS) HIV tests collected by the [New York] state health department turned out to be false on second check. Thirteen of the 17 newborns who received those inaccurate results needlessly started on toxic treatments of AZT and were not permitted to breastfeed while they waited days or weeks for HIV confirmation. One New York study showed a 67 percent false positive rate with the SUDS test.
How could anyone not be appalled by this?
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#85 of 107 Old 01-02-2010, 08:41 PM
 
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But even if a PG mom IS HIV+, she can refuse to treat the HIV. In which case, the maternity HCP would continue maternity care just as normal. After all, can't people live healthy lives while being HIV+? So the HCP should treat the PG mama based on any symptoms she does show.
My point being, if an HIV+ Mama were to refuse treatment of HIV, it wouldn't impact how the pregnancy & birth are cared for anyway.
If she refuses treatment after testing HIV positive, the state might try to take her baby away from her once it's born.

If she tries to refuse treatment for the baby, the hospitals often call CPS, and they take the baby away and give it formula and AIDS drugs.

Read this article for more info: Safe and Sound Underground: HIV-Positive Women Birthing Outside the System
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#86 of 107 Old 01-02-2010, 08:54 PM
 
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How will a false positive change a mother's perception of her health, her body, her baby, her future? Should we be subjecting pregnant women to that kind of stress and disruption during her pregnancy? What is the emotional and psychological cost and to how many women and babies, and is that cost worth it to possibly find and treat a few HIV-positive babies? How many HIV-positive babies would actually benefit from this policy? What are the broader implications this holds for American women's ability to refuse standard care and treatment? For the US government's power over the physical bodies of its citizens?
Thank you so much for saying all this so eloquently, Pirogi. I completely agree.

Also, even if we assume that HIV is the cause of AIDS, why should we accept that the pharmaceuticals have the only method of healing from the disease?

What if a mother wants to use herbs (or other natural healing modalities) to heal her newborn of a supposed positive HIV test (assuming that the test was accurate)?

The law was made based on one flawed study from the pharmaceuticals, which (surprise!) said that their drug prevented the baby from staying HIV positive. Why would we ever trust a study that the pharmaceuticals performed themselves? They aren't objective. They have the most to gain.
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#87 of 107 Old 01-02-2010, 10:25 PM
 
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But how do you know that the further tests are accurate, and not giving a false positive? With other diseases, there might be obvious symptoms within a short period of time. Someone with a positive HIV test, on the other hand, might appear perfectly healthy in every way, and might continue to appear healthy for years.
There are many, many "HIV-positive" people living normal, healthy lives--as long as they stay away from the AIDS drugs. To read more about them, go to the Alive & Well website.

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There is no proof that HIV causes AIDS. In fact, all the epidemiological and microbiological evidence taken together conclusively demonstrates that HIV cannot cause AIDS or any other illness. The concept that AIDS is caused by a virus is not a fact, but a belief that was introduced at a 1984 press conference by Dr. Robert Gallo, a researcher employed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
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And if so, how do you distinguish AIDS symptoms from side effects of AIDS drugs, since I understand there is a great deal of overlap?
Excellent question! From what I've read, in an otherwise healthy person, non-drug user, non-inhabitant of a third world country (thereby having access to relatively clean water and nutritious food), AIDS drugs are THE CAUSE of AIDS. Big Pharma is killing people left and right.

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Maybe I am missing something obvious, but these are the concerns that would make me hesitate to accept an HIV test.
You are right to hesitate. Do your own research and fully inform yourself (and don't limit yourself to reading the mainstream propaganda), before you make this very important decision.

The book Inventing the AIDS Virus very thoroughly lays out why HIV is not the cause of AIDS. It is very scientific and well-cited. It's 722 pages long.
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#88 of 107 Old 01-02-2010, 10:32 PM
 
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What is NOT completely fine is your stubborn and elitist insistence that those who view the world differently are ignorant of the "facts." Science is changeable. This isn't a new problem. Remember when the earth was flat?
And I actually do believe very strongly that global warming is for real, but science is not cut and dried.

Science is changeable--and quite corruptible. Scientists don't want to lose their jobs, they want funding; to succeed in their field, they have to play along with the party line.

Many scientists are corrupt. They are the pawns of Big Business, especially Big Pharma. Where do you think their funding comes from?

Therefore, we can't take everything they assert at face value.
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#89 of 107 Old 01-02-2010, 10:38 PM
 
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Speaking of science, we ended up following Louis Pasteur down the road of the Germ Theory of Disease, but Pasteur himself recanted his theories before his death. He stated that germs (bacteria and viruses) DO NOT cause disease. Rather, it is the overall state of our health that makes us either immune or susceptible to illness.

There are many theories of disease. We don't need to stay locked into our current hysteria about germs. Viruses can't hurt us if we're truly healthy. In fact, most bacteria and viruses are beneficial. Without them we would die.
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#90 of 107 Old 01-02-2010, 10:44 PM
 
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The sheer amount of funding available for AIDS research gives me pause
Me too! They can never admit that HIV doesn't cause AIDS because their HUGE house of cards would collapse, and sooooo many people would be out of a job. Not to mention all the lost profits to the pharmaceuticals selling all those worthless HIV tests and AIDS drugs. Yup, I predict that the AIDS powers that be will continue lying to people for as long as they possibly can.
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