January 5, 2010
Among the more than two dozen new state laws taking effect as of January 1 is one dealing with prenatal care and disease prevention. According to information posted on the Web site of the Texas Department of State Health Services, the law "requires any health care provider allowed to care for a pregnant woman to test her for [HIV], syphilis, and hepatitis B virus (HBV), unless she objects. These tests must take place during the pregnant woman's first prenatal visit. A second HIV test must be conducted during the third trimester, and upon admission for delivery, if no record of the third trimester HIV test is available. The law also provides for the expedited HIV testing of infants at delivery, if a mother's results are not available. These tests apply to each pregnancy." For more information, visit www.dshs.state.tx.us/hivstd/info/edmat/TestingandPregnancy.pdf.