Friday, July 8, 2011

PA's New HIV Testing Law Praised

Getting tested for HIV has become a little easier in Pennsylvania .

Governor Tom Corbett has signed a bill that would eliminate the need for patients to provide written consent to getting tested for HIV. The new law also axes a state mandate that required doctors to give counseling to all patients who've been tested, regardless of whether they were HIV-positive or -negative.

The American Academy of HIV Medicine says the bill is an important first step to increasing HIV testing rates in the state.

AAHIVM Executive Director Jim Friedman says doctors in both routine and emergency settings must now make HIV testing a routine part of their practices.

He says about a quarter of HIV-positive people don't know they have the virus, and those people are three times more likely to infect others than those who know their status.

Friedman says Pennsylvania was the 46th state in the country to bring its standards in line with recommendations made five years ago by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

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