Oklahoma Health Department Wants to End Pre-Marriage Blood Tests
March 20, 2002
Oklahoma health officials say they want to do away with mandatory blood tests for marriage license applicants. The tests are intended to detect syphilis, but Bill Pearson of the state Health Department said it's been several years since the tests found a new case of the disease. "The premarital test is gone the way of the dinosaur," Pearson said, adding that the Health Department would probably ask the Legislature to eliminate the tests during its next session. Tulsa Rep. Darrell Gilbert had sought to make HIV testing a requirement for marriage licenses, but the bill died in committee because officials said that soon-to-marry couples are not usually a high-risk group for STDs. He also said lawmakers were reluctant to do anything that would raise the cost of marriage licenses. Oklahoma City ranked sixth in the nation last year for the number of syphilis cases per 100,000 people. The CDC says that the city's syphilis rate fell more than 28 percent between 1999 and 2000.Adapted from:
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.