Massachusetts Officials Issue Directive That Seeks To Streamline HIV Testing Consent Process
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health yesterday issued a directive recommending that health care providers include written consent for HIV testing in the general permission forms given to patients receiving medical care, the Boston Globe reports. State health care providers typically give patients separate consent forms for HIV testing, a practice health officials say poses as a barrier to HIV testing for patients and their providers. The new Massachusetts recommendation states that HIV testing should be explicitly mentioned on standard general consent forms. Reinforcing a provision in the CDC's 2006 HIV testing guidelines, the directive also recommends routine HIV testing for all residents age 13 to 64 in health care settings. Patients in Massachusetts must still opt in to HIV testing, whereas the CDC recommends that HIV testing be performed unless a patient opts out, according to the Globe (Cooney, Boston Globe, 6/25).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.