Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
Sponsor Changes Kentucky Prenatal AIDS Testing Bill
Kentucky state Sen. Alice Kerr (R) said she has "completely changed" a
bill she introduced on Feb. 14 that would have called for the Department of Public Health to "require a physician treating a pregnant woman to test, subject to informed consent, the woman for HIV" and would "mandate HIV testing for all newborns whose mothers' HIV status is unknown (Alyson Browett, Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 3/2). According to the Children's AIDS Fund, the Kentucky Medical Association "argued that the bill was unnecessary because Kentucky doctors were already screening pregnant women for HIV." However, the association could not provide data on the number of pregnant women in the state who did not receive testing (Foster, Children's AIDS Fund release, 3/1). The revised bill (SB 153) states that the General Assembly "recognizes the need to encourage HIV testing for all pregnant women" and "encourage[s]" the Cabinet for Health Services to determine the percentage of pregnant women in Kentucky who are not offered HIV testing. The measure asks Cabinet members to submit this information to the Interim Joint Committee on Health and Welfare before Sept. 1, 2001 (SB 153 text, 3/2).
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