Mother fails to overturn order that baby must have HIV test

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AN HIV-POSITIVE mother who was ordered by a judge to have her five-month-old daughter blood-tested to see if she was also infected failed yesterday in a bid to challenge the ruling.

Three Court of Appeal judges refused permission for the mother and the baby's father to appeal against a ruling that the baby must be HIV-tested against the parents' wishes, because the medical argument was "overwhelming".

Lady Justice Butler-Sloss, backed by Lord Justices Evans and Thorpe, said the parents' rejection of orthodox medical opinion "cannot stand against the right of this child to be properly cared for in every sense".

The hearing was held despite reports that the parents were abroad with the baby and might not keep their appointment at London's Great Ormond Street Hospital on Friday.

Lady Justice Butler-Sloss said: "This child has the right to have sensible and responsible people find out whether she is or is not HIV positive, either as a result of being born to her mother or as a result of breast- feeding."

Camden council has said that, if HIV-positive, the child can be treated with drugs to combat the virus. If negative, her mother can be urged to stop breast-feeding in an effort to prevent infection.