Policy & Politics
Wisconsin Senate Approves Bill That Would Add School Personnel to HIV "Right To Know" Bill
October 3, 2003
The Wisconsin Senate on Wednesday approved 30-3 a bill (SB 230) that would add teachers, school district employees and social workers to the list of medical and emergency workers who are permitted to request HIV tests on blood they come in contact with while working, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Under the bill, teachers, school district workers, private school workers, charter school employees, social workers and employees of the state schools for the blind and deaf could have someone's blood tested for HIV if they are exposed to the blood during an emergency situation. The bill would add those professionals to a list of workers that already includes firefighters, police officers, emergency medical technicians, prison guards and health care professionals, the Journal Sentinel reports. Supporters of the measure said more people should be able to have blood tested for HIV to "avoid the trauma of not knowing" if they have been exposed to the virus, according to the Journal Sentinel. Sen. Carol Roessler (R) said that sometimes school workers "just can't get to the (plastic) gloves quick enough. ... Exposure is exposure -- period. This is a 'right to know' bill." Opponents of the measure said that the bill goes "too far" because it could infringe on more people's privacy. Sen. Tim Carpenter (D) said, "We're boldly going where no one has gone before," adding that if approved, the measure could be disproportionately used against minorities, according to the Journal Sentinel. The bill next moves to the state Assembly (Walters, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10/1).
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.