Policy & Politics
Delaware: HIV Testing Eyed for Accused Sex Offenders
June 6, 2008
Under a measure being considered by the state Legislature, an accused sex offender would have to submit -- in response to a court order or a request by the alleged victim -- to HIV testing within 48 hours of arrest. As deemed appropriate, defendants -- including those who initially test negative -- would also have to undergo follow-up testing. The bill cleared the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
The committee's vote followed a discussion of the bill's potential impact on defendants who have not been convicted. Deputy Attorney General Tina Showalter noted, "There's a whole lot of things we infringe upon showing of probable cause, including your liberty."
State American Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Drewry Fennell, who did not attend the meeting, raised several questions about the legislation. "There are some practical challenges when you're talking about people who are charged but not convicted," she said. ACLU's concerns include the confidentiality of the defendant's medical information, the ability of defendants to receive proper treatment for HIV, and former inmates' access to HIV medication upon release from prison.
06.06.2008; Randall Chase
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This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.