Wisconsin Legislature Approves Bill Allowing Teachers To Request HIV Tests After Exposure to Students’ Blood
The Wisconsin Legislature last week approved a measure (SB 230) that would add teachers, support staff and other school personnel to the list of medical and emergency workers who are permitted to request HIV tests for people whose blood they come in contact with while working, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. The bill, sponsored by state Sen. Carol Roessler (R), would add an estimated 100,000 educational professionals in the state to a list of workers that already includes firefighters, police officers, emergency medical technicians and health care professionals. Under the measure, a teacher or other educational employee would have to prove that precautions were taken to prevent exposure and obtain certification from a physician that exposure had occurred. In addition, the educator would have to agree to take an HIV test within a specified period of time. Gov. Jim Doyle (D) is currently reviewing the bill and has not yet made a decision on whether he will sign it into law. Educators say that the bill is necessary to protect teachers who must mediate violent incidents or respond to emergencies, according to the Journal Sentinel. Opponents say that the testing policy could be overused or "serve as a crutch for lax protective measures and medical advice," the Journal Sentinel reports (Forster, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 3/17).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.