Navigation Links
AHF Says 'Op-Out' Clause is Crucial to New Jersey Law Requiring HIV Testing of Pregnant Women

Goal: Increase Testing While Preserving Choice

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Dec. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the operator of the largest non-government HIV testing program in California, today offered its qualified support for a new HIV testing protocol signed into law yesterday in New Jersey by Acting Governor Richard J. Codey. The legislation requires the routine testing of pregnant women and some newborns for HIV, a policy that has met with criticism from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and certain women's groups. AHF, which has recently spearheaded and partnered in a groundbreaking HIV testing initiative in California to conduct one million free HIV tests over the next three years with the City of Los Angeles, notes that the most crucial component of the New Jersey legislation is a clause in the bill allowing a woman the choice to opt out of the testing should she so choose.

According to an Associate Press article earlier today, "The bill allows women to opt out of the HIV testing, but critics contend the screening will deprive women of their right to make medical decisions." AP also noted that, "New Jersey has required providers only to offer HIV testing to pregnant women. Under the new law, HIV testing will be part of routine prenatal care for all pregnant women, and doctors will provide pregnant woman with information about HIV and AIDS. It also requires newborns to be tested when the mother has tested positive or her HIV status is unknown."

"AHF supports the widespread and greatly increased availability of HIV testing in the US and overseas; however, we are firmly against mandatory testing for HIV. Our position has been, and remains in support of routine HIV testing with an 'opt out' clause--as is the current testing protocol for pregnant women with regard to rubella, hepatitis C, and certain other communicable diseases--and has now been incorporated into this new law in New Jersey," said Whitney Engeran, III, Director of Public Health Division for AIDS Healthcare Foundation. "Requiring a patient to opt out of a test rather than having to volunteer for a test is a policy and legislative decision that will clearly result in more women being tested, while also preserving their right to choose to test or not."

"From a public health perspective, this legislation allows New Jersey to get a better handle on its HIV incidence while also affording many in need the chance to access care and services for their HIV disease sooner," said Joseph Terrill, Acting Director of Public Affairs for AIDS Healthcare Foundation. "Consistent with recent CDC recommendations, this legislation should help normalize the process of testing by making HIV screening a routine part of medical care while preserving the crucial and empowering option of choice in the process."

Changes in Federal Guidelines on HIV Testing

On September 22, 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued its "Revised Recommendations for HIV Testing." In that document, the CDC strongly urged routine HIV screening of all persons in a health care setting. This new bill will serve to modernize New Jersey law and enable the state to meet CDC expectations while preserving a woman's right to opt out of testing should she so choose.

According to the CDC, "HIV infection is consistent with all generally accepted criteria that justify screening: HIV infection is a serious health disorder that can be diagnosed before symptoms develop; HIV can be detected by reliable, inexpensive, and noninvasive screening tests; Infected patients have years of life to gain if treatment is initiated early, before symptoms develop; and the costs of screening are reasonable in relation to the anticipated benefits."

About AHF

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is the nation's largest non-profit HIV/AIDS healthcare, research, prevention and education provider. In California, AHF operates the largest non-government HIV testing program, which conducts more than 15,000 HIV tests annually. AHF currently provides medical care and/or services to more than 61,000 individuals in 19 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean and Asia. Additional information is available at

SOURCE AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Cities Say Restaurant Nutrition Information Crucial in Fighting Obesity
2. Is a good nights sleep crucial for your health?
3. Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths Applauds Senator Durbins Hospital Infection Legislation, but Suggests Some Crucial Additions in Order to Combat Soaring MRSA Rates
4. Molecular pathway appears crucial in development of pulmonary fibrosis
5. Video: Circulatory Care of New Jersey
6. Keane Wins $1 Million Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Implementation at New Jersey-Based Acute Care Facility
7. First New York/New Jersey Health Care Report Card Released
8. New Jersey Physicians Launch New, Statewide Association to Fight for Stronger Voice in Healthcare
9. New Jersey Nets Shoot Down Staph with High-Tech Defense
10. Filing for Reconsideration/Press Conference ACUNA v. TURKISH, Historic Informed Consent Abortion Case to the New Jersey Supreme Court
11. New Jersey Entrepreneur Turns a Page for Four National Charities
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... 26, 2015 , ... Patients at Serenity Point Recovery, a ... on Thanksgiving Day to share the things that they are most grateful for ... YouTube channel, patients displayed what they wrote on index cards, describing the things ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... ... The Catalent Applied Drug Delivery Institute today announced a ... selection in early phase drug development. The first of these is to be ... UK’s emerging life sciences companies, corporate partners, and investors, at Milton Park, Oxford, ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Pixel ... self-animating trailer titles with ProTrailer: Vintage. This newly styled ProTrailer pack comes with ... work with any font, giving users limitless opportunities to stylize and create designs ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... Water For Empowerment ™ attracts volunteers together who want to combine talents ... women as key stakeholders in the process. The non-profit launched its first major ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... direct sauna parts and accessories. , Sauna accessories help improve the bather experience ... and personality. From basic styles for the purist looking for simplicity in design ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 ) has ... of High Viscosity Drugs" report to their ... the addition of the "Self Administration of ... --> Research and Markets ( ... "Self Administration of High Viscosity Drugs" report ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 ... addition of the "Global Brain Monitoring ... offering. --> ) has ... Brain Monitoring Devices Market 2015-2019" report ... and Markets ( ) has announced ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... WOODBURY, N.Y. , Nov. 25, 2015  Linden ... access and optimizing treatment outcomes for patients suffering from ... its request for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) enjoining ... between the two companies. --> ... aggressively pursuing all of its legal options. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: