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I have never heard of pre-chewing food for babies. Why on earth would a person do that? Number one, I discourage all my children not to drink or eat after each other. I don't kid myself into thinking that this practice will stop them from infecting each other with every virus that makes its way through the preschool or Sunday school, but I don't want them to develop the habit of sharing food or drink with casual acquaintances. The MRSA thing in my house has made me pretty cautious.

What parent would want to unnecessarily exposed their child to a cold virus or a case of stomach flu much less an HIV positive parent exposing their child to the AIDS virus!

The reason for this rant is that I read an article that states that pre-chewed food has been found to transmit HIV to babies. I'm glad that they found this out, but my question would be what kind of dumb ass would take the chance of spitting possibly virally active saliva into an uninfected person's food? Ok, in third world countries where there might be limited access to blenders and commercially prepared baby foods there might be a need for a parent to grind up whatever was on the menu to make the food soft enough for a baby to eat. However, there were cases where they seem to be pretty darn certain that pre-chewing of food was what gave some babies HIV in Memphis and Miami.

I've never been to either town, but I would hazard to guess that there's no shortage of baby food in jars or blenders in either location. How senseless!


MorethanMommy said...

It seems likely that the parents didn't KNOW it would transfer HIV and that it might be something cultural. I don't think you need to make pre-chewing sound like it's some sort of deviant behavior just because it's not the norm for you. Most people in the world are less "germophobic" than Americans and their children actually pick up fewer illnesses. Pre-chewed food is probably considered a healthier alternative than jarred baby food with all of those preservatives. And much less expensive (HIV drugs aren't cheap!) Hopefully the article you read will help promote awareness that can prevent the problem in the future, but in the meantime I think a little compassion could go a long way.

Unique Baby Gear Ideas said...

I agree that compassion is a virtue, but I believe that it would be a huge mistake to confuse compassion with the acceptance of ignorant behavior.

These cases were not in third world countries where information is scarce, this happened here in the states where these women should have been taking advantage of the information that is available to them. These women are going to be held up as examples. Yes, I would consider pre-chewing food for a child by a person that knows they are infected deviant behavior. Wreckless endangerment is serious.

Shouldn't everyone that has a communicable disease make it their personal responsibility to lessen the chances of exposing the public much less a beloved child in their care?

The only good thing that comes from this is that the information is now in the public's hands and this will hopefully prevent another child from suffering at the hands of the people who are supposed to be caring for them.

How ignorant would a person have to be not to consider eating and drinking after an HIV positive person potentially dangerous? I have considerable compassion for people with AIDS or any other illness, but compassion should not be taken as a free pass for people not to have to learn about their sickness and take steps to keep it from spreading no matter what their culture might be.

Is pre-chewing baby food less expensive once another child has to have meds to control their disease?

Anonymous said...

I agree with morethanmommy that if these parents did something like this , they certainly didn't know the risk they're taking. We need to learn how to see from the others' point of view before judging!