The problems linked with HIV screening are formidable. In the special population of pregnant women, these issues become even more complex because of concerns over patient autonomy, efficacy of therapy, and potential harm to the fetus. Primary care physicians must be aware of these issues and, ideally, should be advocates for educating their patients and the public at large. Until the potential costs of mandatory screening are balanced against the perceived benefits, debate on these issues will continue to be highly emotional and politically charged.
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