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Pennsylvania: New Law Regarding HIV Testing Is No Problem for Delaware County Group

July 14, 2011

A new state law that eliminates pretest HIV counseling and replaces signed informed consent with a voluntary "opt-out" provision will not affect how one Delaware County organization does AIDS outreach.


Community Health & Education Outreach will continue to counsel clients as a way to further awareness. "It's not mandatory anymore, but that doesn't mean we're not going to do it," said Dennis Murphy, president of CHEO's board of directors and former executive director of the now-defunct Delaware County AIDS Network. "We will continue to counsel about how to prevent it and how you get it."

"Ignorance of HIV is still out there," said Barbara Jones, a registered nurse who founded CHEO nine years ago. CHEO tests an average of 50 people per month.

When CHEO began its screening outreach in 2005, Jones devised a five-question HIV quiz that is still administered to everyone who comes to its office for testing. "I'm surprised at how many people only get two or three questions right," Jones noted.

The law also eliminates the need to give negative HIV test results in person. However, delivering positive results still requires a personal counseling session beforehand. Murphy said CHEO's protocol is similar. "If people test positive, we search high and low for them so we can get them in for a second test to confirm and so they can realize they can have case management and to direct them where to go in the county," he said.

Back to other news for July 2011

Adapted from:
Delaware County Daily Times
07.11.2011; Patti Mengers

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
Quiz: Are You at Risk for HIV?
10 Common Fears About HIV Transmission
More Testing News: Eastern States

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