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Schwarzenegger Signs Bill to Remove Written Informed Consent for HIV Testing; "Most Important Change in Public HIV/AIDS Policy in Years," Says AHF
Date:10/12/2007

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
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SOURCE AIDS HEALTHCARE FOUNDATION
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