The Namibia High Court has ruled that the country’s government sterilized three HIV-positive women without their informed consent, The Associated Press (AP) reports. The Southern Africa Litigation Centre said the court ruling found that the women were forced into agreeing to the procedure while they were in severe pain or labor, which is coerced and not informed consent, therefore violating the women’s human rights. The women will receive monetary damages to be determined at a later date. Activists claim that other women with HIV have also been coerced into sterilization, a tactic to prevent the women from getting pregnant and giving birth to HIV-positive babies. It’s considered drastic because mother-to-child transmission can be prevented with antiretroviral treatment.

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