Human Immunodeficiency Virus, or HIV, can wreak havoc on a person’s body. Additionally, HIV is incurable; once infected, a person has it for life. Over time, HIV can develop into AIDS. AIDS is the final stage of the HIV infection.
HIV/AIDS is deadly and contagious through some bodily fluids. As such, a baby born to a mother infected with the virus is at risk of contracting HIV. However, certain actions can be taken to reduce the risk of mother-to-child infection. If a prenatal care provider fails to take these precautions, then this individual may be negligent. These can be complex cases, so consult HIV/AIDS lawyers in New York at Gacovino, Lake & Associates – 800-550-0000.
Protecting Your Baby While Pregnant
If you are a woman who is pregnant and has HIV, then taking HIV medications to reduce the risk of transmission to your child and to protect yourself during your pregnanc, is highly recommended by AIDSinfo, an educational website provided by the National Institutes of Health.
The drugs that you should take are called antiretroviral drugs. If you are not already taking these drugs at the time you become pregnant, your doctor can help determine when to start taking them. If your healthcare provider fails to provide proper guidance or care regarding taking your medication or fails to give you antiviral drugs to protect you and your baby’s health, then it may increase your baby’s risk of contracting HIV.
Babies born to women with HIV should also receive an HIV medication called zidovudine for six weeks after birth, according to the AIDSinfo.nih.gov. Most babies who are born with HIV appear normal and healthy at the time of birth. However, two to three months after birth, an infected baby may experience weight loss, infections, enlarged lymph nodes, neurological problems and pneumonia.
When a Prenatal Care Provider is Liable
It is the duty of a prenatal care provider to provide a certain standard of care to a pregnant woman. If a prenatal care provider fails to give a woman the antiretroviral drugs she needs to ensure that her baby isn’t born with HIV, then that prenatal care provider has acted outside of the standard of care. Additionally, a prenatal care provider is required under New York law to recommend HIV testing for all women. Sometimes, a woman may not even know that she is infected with HIV at the time of pregnancy, which is why the recommendation to be tested for the virus is essential.
If a prenatal care provider acted negligently by failing to recommend HIV testing or failing to prescribe HIV antiretroviral medications, then that healthcare provider may be negligent and liable for damages. However, these cases can be complicated because a defendant may argue that transmission was likely anyway. It requires proving not only negligence, but also connecting negligence to the transmission of HIV from mother to baby. This may require assistance from STD lawyers in New York.
Let Our HIV/AIDS lawyers in New York Review Your Case
If your baby contracted HIV in part because of your prenatal care provider’s negligence, our hearts are with you. While nothing can take away your child’s illness, our attorneys can help you recover the damages you need to provide your child with the highest-quality treatment options available. Contact Gacovino, Lake & Associates to begin reviewing your case to determine if you have a valid claim and the types of evidence you’ll need to prove liability. This often requires testimony from a medical expert, which we can help secure.
Call us now at 800-550-0000 to speak with an attorney today.