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The number of newborns infected by vertical transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus is increasing as the number of HIV-positive women increases within the United States It is estimated that while seven thousand of the HIV-positive women become pregnant each year between one thousand and two thousand of their newborns will be HIV-positive The transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus from mother to child the benefits of drugs intervention and whether or not the HIV-screening process of pregnant women should remain voluntary or become mandatory are very serious issues that affect our society today The HIV-virus has proven that it is not a disease to be taken lightly or ignored The HIV-virus is very serious and this is one of the many questions that come up when talking about HIV Does the baby have rights and should a pregnant women be denied her right to privacy with respect to HIV Data shows that AIDS is now increasing faster among females than males with women accounting for seven percent of cases in 1985 and nineteen percent in 1995 The incidences of HIV-positive heterosexual women have risen dramatically over the past decade and AIDS is now the third leading cause of death among women ages twenty-five to forty-four The one thing that all of these women have in common is that they all are of child bearing age Consequently the incidences of HIV-positive newborns have also increased As mentioned previously about seven thousand HIV-infected women give birth each year and about twenty-five percent of their babies are HIV-positive Maternal transmission accounted for ninety-two percent of all new AIDS cases reported in children in 1994Davis 15 A major breakthrough in drug intervention began in February 1993 The AIDS Clinical Trials Group administered a double-blinded randomized placebo-controlled study of zidovudine also known as AST Four hundred seventy-five women were enrolled in the study These women were randomly assigned to one of two groups One group received zidovudine while the
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