Arkansas House Panel Endorses Bill That Would Require Inmates To Receive HIV Test Before Release
The Arkansas House Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee on Thursday endorsed an amended version of a bill (HB 1444) that would require inmates in the state's prisons to receive an HIV test before their release, the Arkansas News Bureau reports (Arkansas News Bureau, 2/23). Arkansas Rep. Fred Allen (D) earlier this month introduced a version of the bill that would have required inmates to undergo tests for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections before being paroled (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/12). The public health committee previously tabled the bill but endorsed it after Allen amended the proposed legislation to require only HIV tests for all inmates being released, not just those being paroled (Arkansas News Bureau, 2/23). Allen also removed from the original bill a requirement that all Arkansas Department of Correction employees receive an HIV test. In addition, the amended version requires inmates who test positive to be provided with counseling on treatment options (Gambrell, Associated Press, 2/22). The bill now goes to the full House (Arkansas News Bureau, 2/23).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.