Intended for healthcare professionals


Babies born to Ethiopian immigrant mothers in Israel have been needlessly infected with HIV

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 29 October 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a2308
  1. Judy Siegel-Itzkovich
  1. 1Jerusalem

    A study has found that four of the babies born in the past 11 years to Ethiopian Jewish immigrants to Israel who were carrying HIV were unnecessarily infected with the virus by their mothers. This has led to demands that medical practice should change (Israel Medical Association Journal 2008;10:668).

    Some of the women did not know that they were HIV positive. Others knew that they were positive but did not take steps to avoid infecting their children—for example, by taking antiretroviral drugs, having caesarean sections, and bottle feeding their babies. Three refused antiretroviral treatment.

    The article calls on the health ministry to change its opt-in policy, in which pregnant women are …

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