Indiana Senate Approves Mandatory HIV Testing for Pregnant Women and Infants
The Indiana Senate on Monday "overwhelmingly" passed by 44-4 a bill (SB 312) aimed at preventing vertical HIV transmission by requiring physicians to test consenting pregnant women for HIV, the Associated Press reports. The bill, scripted by state Sen. Patricia Miller (R), also requires all newborns to be tested for HIV, even if the mother is not tested. Supporters of the measure say that "advances in HIV treatment have increased the need for such legislation." The Associated Press reports that if an HIV-positive woman is diagnosed and treated with antiretroviral drugs during pregnancy, her baby has a 75% chance of being born without the virus, and if a baby tests positive for HIV within the first 48 hours of life, medication can "prevent the virus from taking hold." The bill now moves to the House (Associated Press, 2/19).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.