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August 14, 2008

New HIV Testing Bill Passes California Legislature Unanimously

A bill that is said to “revolutionize” HIV testing in California cleared the Senate in a 36 to 0 vote August 13, Medical News Today reports. The bill now heads to Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for signing.

The Sexually Transmitted Diseases and HIV/AIDS Counseling Reform Bill will change the way that government-funded HIV testing programs operate by tailoring pre- and post- test counseling to individuals based on how many times they have been tested in the past.

“Treating the young person who is testing for the first time the same as a person in their 40s or 50s who has been tested dozens of times doesn’t make sense,” said Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF). “This important reform will allow AHF, the largest HIV tester in California, to do three times as many tests per hour as we do now. The unanimous approval of the legislature for this common sense approach to HIV testing is very encouraging.”

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