Eliminate Written Consent Requirement For HIV Testing

The Rhode Island House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare last week held a hearing on a proposed amendment to a state requirement that physicians obtain written consent before administering an HIV test, the Providence Journal reports.

Eliminate Written Consent Requirement For HIV Testing

Under current state law, the written consent requirement does not apply to pregnant women, who are tested for HIV unless they sign a form to opt out of the test. The amendment, which is co-sponsored by Reps. Joseph McNamara (D) and Donna Walsh (D), would extend HIV testing to everyone except those who sign a form to opt out of the testing.

According to the Journal, the Rhode Island medical community widely supports the proposed amendment, while the American Civil Liberties Union Rhode Island opposes it. Nicole Alexander, a pediatric medicine fellow at Brown University, at the hearing noted that physicians still would be required to discuss HIV testing with patients before administering a test under the amendment. Brian Alverson, a pediatrician at Hasbro Children's Hospital, said HIV testing among pregnant women increased from 52% to 92% when the written consent requirement was waived. Alverson added that the increased testing allowed HIV-positive women to receive treatment earlier and reduced the number of mother-to-child HIV transmissions. The Rhode Island ACLU affiliate said the amendment would make it easier for physicians to administer HIV tests without informing patients.

According to the Journal, about 150 people are diagnosed with HIV/AIDS annually in the state.

Similar Post You May Like

  • Social Perspectives HIV and AIDS

    Social Perspectives

    Viruses too are social phenomena. That may sound like a joke or a paradox, but it simply reflects the fact that relating to illness is a constitutive...

  • Who is at risk for HIV infection

    Risk for HIV infection

    In the early days of the AIDS epidemic, HIV infection appeared to be confined to certain groups, including intravenous drug users, men who have sex with other men...

  • Social Stigma and Discrimination

    Social Stigma and Discrimination

    From the early days of the identification of AIDS, the disease has been powerfully linked to behaviors that are illegal or are considered immoral by...

Popular links:

  • How is done antiretroviral therapy

    How is done antiretroviral therapy

    All people who need antiretroviral therapy should have access to it. WHO proposed as a target that by 2005, 3 million people should have access,...

  • AIDS and HIV symptoms

    AIDS and HIV symptoms

    Without medical intervention, AIDS progresses along a typical course. Within one to three weeks after infection with HIV, most people experience flu-like symptoms,...

  • Aids in Africa

    Aids in Africa

    Sub-Saharan Africa is more heavily affected by HIV and AIDS than any other region of the world. An estimated 22 million people were living with HIV...