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March 29, 2010

HIV Testing Consent Bill Passes Michigan House

Last week, the Michigan House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation that would make HIV testing a routine part of medical care, requiring patients who wish to opt out of a test to put it in writing, The Michigan Messenger reports. The bill would also eliminate pre- and post-test counseling.

In addition, physicians would no longer be required to refer those who test positive to an infectious disease specialist or inform them about a Michigan felony law that requires HIV-positive people to disclose their status to potential sexual partners.

AIDS activists believe this legislation will create further barriers to HIV care and testing.

The bill passed with an amendment stipulating that HIV-negative results will be provided to patients through “normal health care provider procedures,” which include—but are not limited to—a patient visit, mail or phone call.

The legislation now moves to the Senate where a similar HIV testing measure is being debated.

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