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Enforcing the law to obtain an HIV test in a minor: a follow-up

Mital, Dushyant

doi: 10.1097/QAD.0b013e328361d083

Department of HIV Medicine, Milton Keynes NHS Foundation Trust, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, UK.

Correspondence to Dr Dushyant Mital, Department of HIV Medicine, Milton Keynes NHS Foundation Trust, Standing Way, Eaglestone, Milton Keynes, Bucks MK6 5LD, UK. Tel: +44 01908 826643; e-mail:

Received 22 March, 2013

Accepted 28 March, 2013

In January 2012, we reported a case in AIDS of obtaining a UK court order to enforce a father to obtain an HIV-1 test in his youngest son, which subsequently proved to be negative [1]. Another year had passed by before the father had his middle 15-year-old son tested after there were his school concerns over his ‘learning ability’ and, unfortunately, his HIV-1 antibody test came back as positive. After subsequent counselling, relevant investigations, adult dose antiretroviral treatment and extra school provisions, this boy is doing well and is currently under an HIV adolescent-to-adult transition clinic service. The oldest daughter is now 19 years old and, despite knowing of her sibling's HIV diagnosis, she is reluctant to obtain an HIV test despite having a regular male partner. The daughter is viewed as competent to make this decision in an adult capacity and legal intervention is not possible at this stage despite the concerns made when she was a minor.

This case highlights the fact that continued efforts should be made to ensure that all children and minors in any HIV risk situation are tested despite a negative result in one child of the same family. The daughter's reluctance for testing suggests a possible ingrained, learned cultural fear of HIV testing and diagnosis and further work is needed to examine this. Guidance is also needed for HIV testing in cases in which adult age is reached and mental competency assumed, despite concerns on HIV being raised as a child. The Children's HIV Association will hopefully look at this [2].

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

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1. Mital D, Roy P, Sheedy D, Raza M. Enforcing the law to obtain an HIV test in a minor. AIDS 2012; 26:248–249.
2. ‘Don’t forget the children’ Guidance for the HIV testing of children with HIV-positive parents; 2009 July.
© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.