New York Legislature Should Approve Legislation Requiring Health Workers To Offer HIV Testing, Editorial Says
The New York state Legislature "should make it mandatory for health care workers to offer [HIV] testing" as proposed in a New York state bill (A 7757), a Long Island Newsday editorial says (Long Island Newsday, 5/11). The legislation would require that people ages 18 to 64 be offered an HIV test in emergency departments, outpatient clinics and community health centers. The legislation also would eliminate written consent requirements and require the state to develop a standard form to be used by all health care providers (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/16).
"There's no harm in offering to test every adult for HIV," the editorial says, adding that the "harm is in not making the attempt." The editorial continues that the measure would "reduce the stigma of HIV testing by making it routine" and by "requiring doctors to offer the test, explain its purpose, how it's done and answer any questions, but then simply note in a patient's chart whether the offer was accepted or rejected." The legislation would "advance the critical public health objective here, which is to get people tested" (Long Island Newsday, 5/11).