January 29, 2009
W. Virginia Resolution Would End Written Consent for HIV Test
West Virginia’s state Legislature has been asked by the Wheeling-Ohio County Board to overturn a law that requires doctors to receive written consent before administering an HIV test, The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register reports.
The board’s resolution, which was based on recommendations made by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2006, cites that “the informed consent requirement for HIV testing has been found to be a barrier to HIV diagnosis interfering with the prevention of the spread of HIV.” Board member John Holloway, MD, noted that informed consent can also be discouraging for a patient since it is time consuming.
If the law is repealed, patient consent will still be required but it would not have to be in writing or include counseling. According to the article, the board is seeking support for the resolution from other county health departments and the state Bureau of Public Health.
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