September 17, 2010
A state law that took effect this month will make HIV testing more accessible and improve the linkage of HIV-positive people to care and treatment, health officials say. An estimated 20 percent of state residents with HIV do not know they are infected, and 33 percent of patients newly diagnosed with HIV progress to AIDS within one year.
"HIV/AIDS continues to be a major health concern for New Yorkers, and this important change in the law will make HIV testing more routine, while maintaining key patient privacy protections," said Dr. Richard F. Daines, state health commissioner.
Under the law:
In accordance with CDC's recommendations, New York's new law requires that voluntary opt-out testing be offered to all persons ages 13-64 who receive hospital or primary care services, with limited exceptions.
"We need to be working aggressively with all health care providers to ensure people who are infected are found early and offered the lifesaving treatments that are available," said Humberto Cruz, director of the state Department of Health's AIDS Institute.
For more information about the testing law, visit www.nyhealth.gov/diseases/aids/testing/hiv_testing_law.htm.