A pregnant woman who is HIV positive and who had refused treatment to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus to her unborn child has been ordered by the High Court to facilitate such treatment.

The woman who can not be identified is due to give birth next week. The President of the High Court, Mr Justice Finnegan, said he was told yesterday there was a 30% risk of the baby contracting HIV but this would be reduced if the infant was given oral medication within four hours of its birth and further treatment thereafter.

The court heard that the woman had refused emphatically to allow her baby to undergo such treatment saying God would look after her and her baby. The woman initially said that she wanted to give birth at home because she did not trust the doctors and had concerns about the hospital.

The Judge said his grandchild was born in the Coombe and he had no complaints. He told her he would have to have make more serious orders affecting her personal bodily integrity if she refused to give birth in hospital. She then agreed to do so.

The Judge then directed that on birth the baby would be made a ward of court. This means the court would be responsible for its well being. He also appointed a solicitor to represent the baby's interests in court.