Preventive Sickle Cell Testing Is Here … and Has Been

Inexpensive blood tests can tell couples if they each carry the gene for sickle cell disease—and therefore have a 25% chance of having a baby with SCD. But such prenatal testing is rare in the US. Instead, SCD is usually detected through routine newborn screenings.
 
Pre-IVF embryo screening, which can both identify SCD in embryos and prevent selective abortion, costs tens of thousands of dollars. But lifetime medical care for someone with SCD costs >$2 million.  

In the US, racism surrounding the disease, which mostly affects Americans of African descent, hampers efforts to devise public health strategies to test and inform those who carry the gene.
 
The Quote: “Genetic counseling, difficulties with insurance coverage, and employment restrictions raised the specter of discrimination, racism and even accusations of genocide,” said Keith Wailoo, a historian at Princeton University.
 
The New York Times
 
 
ICYMI: They Lost Three Daughters to Sickle Cell. Can They Save a Fourth? – The New York Times

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