Zimbabwe Woman Charged to Court for Transmitting HIV to her Friend’s Baby

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A 23-year-old woman, from Harare, Zimbabwe has recently been charged with deliberately transmitting HIV to a 10-month-old baby by feeding him with her breast milk.

According to a local report, the woman infected the boy when the mother gave the child to her to babysit in August.

The report stated that when the child started crying while playing with other kids, the suspect started breastfeeding him in front of the other children.

Zimbabwe Woman Charged to Court for Transmitting HIV to her Friend’s Baby
Image of a woman breastfeeding her daughter

The woman, who has not been identified yet, allegedly knew that she was HIV positive at the time but ignored the risk and went ahead to breastfeed the child.

According to state media, the woman reported the matter to the police after one of the children who witnessed the incident informed her.

The suspect appeared at Harare Magistrates’ Court at the end of last month and was initially charged with ill-treatment of a minor under the Children’s Act.

The 23-year-old has since been charged with deliberate transmission of HIV and was granted Z$500 (£1) bail ahead of her trial on October 19.

HIV positive women are discouraged from breast-feeding their babies as it poses a risk of transmission.

However, the issue is controversial among medics as several recent studies have shown that there is a negligible risk of transmission if the mother and baby are undergoing antiretroviral therapy.

 

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