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Mother Guilty of Transferring HIV to her Child

by Medindia Content Team on August 9, 2006 at 8:19 AM
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Mother Guilty of Transferring HIV to her Child

In a unique case in Canada, a woman from Hamilton was convicted for not informing her doctors that she was HIV positive, which resulted in her new born son also being infected.

She was charged for failing to provide the necessaries of life. This charge is normally given for child neglect. She was given a 6-month conditional sentence and 3 years probation.

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Justice Anton Zuraw handed down the sentence on 6ht of April but was reported only yesterday by the Globe and Mail.

It was hoped that the virus would not be transferred to the child, but unfortunately, the baby tested positive for HIV at the age of 21/2 months according to Det.Brien Smyth of Hamilton Police Service.
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Prevention of transmission of virus from the mother to the child is possible and it is highly successful in Canada.

The risk of transmission to the newborn is 25 to 30 per cent even if the mother does not take any precaution"says Dr. Stanley Read, director of the HIV/AIDS program at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

'We haven't had an infected baby of a mom who took medication, however badly, for three years, maybe four now -- and that's across Canada,' he said.
According to Det.Smyth the woman had been advised about the risks. 'I think it's such a unique case, I hope we never see another one like it,' he said. 'It's unfathomable.'

The woman was unreachable and her lawyer, Larissa Fedak, refused to comment.
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