Navigation Links
Schwarzenegger Signs Bill to Remove Written Informed Consent for HIV Testing; "Most Important Change in Public HIV/AIDS Policy in Years," Says AHF

AB 682 (Berg, Garcia, Huffman), the California Routine HIV Screening Bill, a Bi-Partisan Bill, Sponsored by AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the California Medical Association, & the Health Officers Association of California, Will Improve Health Outcomes & Reduce HIV Transmission

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Oct. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the operator of the largest non-government HIV testing program in California, today praised Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for signing Assembly Bill 682, California's Routine HIV Screening Bill, which cleared the two chambers of the California Legislature in late September with only a single vote against it.

The bi-partisan bill, jointly authored by Assembly Members Patty Berg, Bonnie Garcia and Jared Huffman and co-sponsored by AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the California Medical Association (CMA) and the Health Officers Association of California, repeals written informed consent for HIV testing, so that medical providers can identify Californians who are unaware of their HIV-positive status and bring them into care and treatment, while sustaining the fundamental voluntary nature of HIV screening. The bill removes a major barrier to HIV testing by requiring a patient to give simple consent, rather than informed consent, before an HIV test can be administered.

"AB 682 is the single most important change in public HIV/AIDS policy in years," said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. "This landmark bill eliminates one of the remaining vestiges of a body of HIV law enacted in the mid-1980s that made HIV/AIDS exceptional among reportable diseases. The statutory shift to simple consent will catalyze a cultural shift in California among providers and consumers that will ensure that thousands of Californians with HIV get access to crucial, lifesaving care and treatment. We believe that many states will soon follow California's lead in utilizing simple consent for HIV screening."

"The California Legislature has recognized the importance of this public health legislation, which will ensure that HIV screening in California becomes more routine and widespread, and we thank Governor Schwarzenegger for signing this lifesaving bill," said Joseph Terrill, Public Policy Coordinator for AIDS Healthcare Foundation, co-sponsor of the bill. "Consistent with recent CDC recommendations, AB 682 normalizes the process of testing by making HIV screening a routine part of medical care; however, the bill also has provisions to maintain and safeguard patient confidentiality as well as an individual's right to chose whether to test or not. From a public health perspective, AB 682 allows California 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."

"Nearly 40,000 Californians are unaware they are HIV-positive, which means they could be unknowingly transmitting HIV to their partners. In addition, too many people learn of their HIV status when they present themselves to a healthcare provider due to an illness, often when it is too late to fully benefit from lifesaving antiretroviral treatment," said Whitney Engeran III, Director of Public Health Division for AIDS Healthcare Foundation, co-sponsor of the bill. "AB 682 will help address two major hurdles in the fight against HIV/AIDS in California. First, it will ensure that more Californians learn their HIV status and, as a result, stop spreading it to their partners. Second, it will help guide those people into care and treatment. We thank the Legislature, particularly the bill's authors, Assembly Members Berg, Garcia and Huffman, for their leadership on this issue, and thank Governor Schwarzenegger for his timely signature on this crucial legislation."

Background on HIV Testing in California

Current California state law, enacted early in the epidemic, requires informed or written informed consent, depending on the setting, before an HIV test can be conducted. This law makes it difficult for medical providers to routinely screen patients for HIV infection and contributes to the fact that nearly 40,000 Californians do not know that they are HIV positive and, hence, are not getting treatment and are unknowingly exposing others. AB 682 will change California law from informed consent to simple consent, with a requirement that a patient be given information about the test and be informed that he or she can decline the test. It will also streamline some of the procedures a physician must follow in testing a pregnant woman.

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. AB 682 will serve to modernize California law and enable the state to meet CDC expectations.

A study published earlier this year in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) "Association Between Rates of HIV Testing and Elimination of Written Consents in San Francisco," (March 14, 2007--Vol. 297, No. 10) revealed the potential for increased HIV testing rates when certain barriers to testing are removed. The research letter, (authored by Jeff D. Klausner, MD, MPH and Mitchell H. Katz, MD of the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFPHD), and Nicola M. Zetola, MD, Barbara Haller, MD, PhD and Patricia Nassos, PhD of the University of California, San Francisco) examined the rate of HIV testing after the San Francisco Department of Public Health, in May 2006, replaced written consent with verbal consent for testing through its facilities. The results show a major increase in the rate of HIV testing after this move to streamline the testing process. For example, San Francisco General Hospital Medical Center went from diagnosing 20 cases of HIV a month to over 30.

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 15 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean and Asia. Additional information is available at

If you have received this news release in error and do not wish to receive future advisories, or if they should be directed to someone else in your organization, please call (323) 860-5262. Alternatively, you may fax your updated information or your request for removal from our list to (323) 962-8513 or e-mail

Media Contact: Ged Kenslea

Telephone: (323) 860-5225 Mobile: (323) 791-5523


Alternate Media Contact: Lori Yeghiayan

Telephone: (323) 860-5227 Mobile: (323) 377-4312


Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Schwarzenegger Undergoes Surgery for Broken Leg
2. US Needs to Show Leadership in Cutting Emissions: Schwarzenegger
3. Arnold Schwarzenegger Blamed for Backtracking in the Fight Against Carbon Emission
4. Filtration treatment assigns more live kidney donation
5. Depressed women show signs of earlier onset of Perimenopause
6. More signs to an approaching migraine attack
7. An Indian Bride with signs of SARS
8. Recognize Heart Attack Signs
9. Parents Should Look For Signs Of Children Becoming Overweight
10. Early Warning Signs Of Heart Disease
11. Warning Signs On Powered Baby Milk
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/24/2015)... Florida (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... planning and monitoring. Their Care Plan software creates an agreement between the ... patient care plan, including financial, scheduling, monitoring, notification, and projections. Click ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 24, 2015 , ... Eric C. Seidel, DMD and Stephanie ... the revolutionary BIOLASE WaterLase iPlus 2.0™ system. This advanced laser technology uses light ... dentist in Gettysburg, PA . From routine visits to cosmetic treatments, laser ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... ... Dr. Todd S. Afferica, a noted general dentist in Norcross, GA ... Afferica now uses the BIOLASE WaterLase iPlus 2.0™ in many of his dental procedures. ... traditional cutting tools, such as the scalpel and high-speed drill, which can both cause ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Mississauga, ON (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... Deborah Williams without a referral for dental implants at her Mississauga, ON ... qualified and experienced in the placement of dental implants. , Missing teeth can ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Young patients with a wide variety ... Wolfman and Dr. Kedar S. Lele, who are pediatric dentists in Tucson, AZ ... the WaterLase iPlus 2.0™ system causes minimal discomfort and bleeding to the patient during ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 Research and Markets ( ) ... - Global Forecast to 2020" report to their ... for 37.21% of the total market share in 2014. ... region is projected to growth at the highest CAGR ... primarily to the fast growing water, industrial gas treatment, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... November 25, 2015 --> ... sie eine Lizenz für das Patent über eine neue ... und ENS-Lyon innehaben, an Enyo Pharma vergeben haben. ... ins Leben gerufenen und von Edelris gemeinsam mit seinen ... ein Behandlungsziel für HBV identifiziert, und es wurden neue ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... November 25, 2015 ... addition of the  "Global Drug Device ... to their offering.  --> ... of the  "Global Drug Device Combination ... their offering.  --> Research ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: