Change in state law requires health professionals to offer voluntary HIV tests to patients 13 to 64 years old. New law also simplifies informed consent process, allowing for verbal consent in some circumstances.
Voluntary HIV testing is now part of routine medical care in the state of New York. As of today, due to a change in New York's State Public Health Law, New York residents receiving health services at most medical facilities should now expect to be offered a voluntary HIV test. With limited exceptions, the new State law requires health care professionals to offer all patients between the ages of 13 to 64 a voluntary HIV test. The law applies to anyone receiving treatment for a non-life-threatening condition in a hospital, a hospital emergency department or a primary care setting, such as a doctor's office or outpatient clinic.View Full Article
Comment by: R
Sat., Sep. 11, 2010 at 1:08 am EDT
This sounds rather similar to the new opt-out testing law recently passed in Massachusetts. And, while there may be an argument for this from a broader societal perspective, it is of little or no benefit to those who are already infected. It is absolutely naive to believe that this would somehow reduce the stigma attached to being hiv+ and that stigma is the main reason why this will do nothing to remedy that. If I believed myself to be negative or at low risk, I might not care. But, as an hiv+ person who goes to great pains to not have my status widely known, opt-out testing sets up the well known prisoner's dilemma and could only serve to facilitate disclosure against my wishes. If I decline the test, then a
rational observer might wonder what I am trying to hide in addition to making me feel as though I am being deceptive. I can't say "well, no thanks, I already know I'm positive." But, if I take the test when offered, albeit unnecessarily, then a whole new group of people now know my status without providing any additional benefit to me since I am already under treatment. Hence, for the already positive person, who knows of his or her status, such opt-out testing is a lose-lose proposition. I have nothing to gain and everything to lose.
Comment by: Eddie
Thu., Sep. 2, 2010 at 6:26 pm EDT
That's we need. Now, the law needs to expand the test to the rest of states. This is one of the greatest ways we'll bring the epidemic under control. Whether we like it or not, it is time to take full responsibility for ourselves well being and for the well beings of others. If my calculations are right, I say we should cut new infections by as much as 85% after a period of 7 or 8 years beginning now. This goes for everyone, and the testing should be conducted every year for the first 5 years, followed by another 5-year extension and then measure whether we have improved or failed. I strongly believe this is the kind of weapon HIV can't fight or mutate, and we are in total control of it. Let's do it and get rid of this scourge once and for all.
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