The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
HIV/AIDS Blog Central

Massachusetts "Opt-Out" HIV Testing Bill: Update

By Ed Perlmutter

August 18, 2010

The following is an update to Ed Perlmutter's July 29 post highlighting the importance of opt-out HIV screening and giving some context on the Massachusetts bill.


The Massachusetts Legislature adjourned its 2009-2010 formal session late on the evening of Saturday, July 31. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of the broad-based coalition who support routine "opt-out" HIV screening, the bill that would have made opt-out HIV testing a reality in Massachusetts did not pass.

While the bill has died for this session, it remains abundantly clear that the need for routine opt-out HIV testing in Massachusetts is not going away. Our Commonwealth still has an estimated 5,000 undiagnosed individuals living with HIV who don't even know they have the virus. And this number will grow with each passing week, month, and year -- a reality I consider unconscionable. Moreover, upwards of thirty percent of HIV cases in Massachusetts still continue to be diagnosed late. Given these disheartening facts, it is essential that supporters of routine opt-out testing continue to question the status quo in Massachusetts (at present, Written Informed Consent "opt-in" HIV testing).

The new legislative session begins in January 2011, and with it, another opportunity to renew the push for a common-sense law that will enable more individuals to know their HIV status earlier, get connected to care sooner, and avoid infecting others. While we all recognize that change can often be slow in coming, routine opt-out HIV testing is one lifesaving change that cannot come quickly enough in Massachusetts. And I will be back at our State House advocating for its passage, every step of the way.

Read Perlmutter's entire testimony here.

Get e-mail notifications every time Positive Policy is updated.

See Also
Quiz: Are You at Risk for HIV?
10 Common Fears About HIV Transmission
More Viewpoints on U.S. HIV Testing Policy


Add Your Comment:
(Please note: Your name and comment will be public, and may even show up in
Internet search results. Be careful when providing personal information! Before
adding your comment, please read's Comment Policy.)

Your Name:

Your Location:

(ex: San Francisco, CA)

Your Comment:

Characters remaining:
Positive Policy

Positive Policy is a multi-blogger forum for sharing developments in law, policy and activism relevant to people living with, working in and otherwise affected by HIV/AIDS.

Subscribe to Positive Policy:

Subscribe by RSSBy RSS ?

Subscribe by Email

Recent Posts:

View All Posts

A Brief Disclaimer:

The opinions expressed by's bloggers are entirely their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of itself.