Pa. Passes HIV testing with routine medical testing

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    Jul 04, 2011 6:24 PM GMT
    (this will go into effect in 60 days)

    Bill to Incorporate HIV Testing into RoutineMedical Care Awaiting Gov. Corbett's Signature A bill that would incorporate HIV testing into routine medical care passed the House on June 29, 2011, by a vote of 177-24. Senate Bill 260, which was unanimously passed by the Senate in April and received a concurrence vote on a House-added amendment in the Senate on June 30, 2011, is currently awaiting the governor's signature. SB 260, introduced by Sen. Ted Erickson (R-Delaware), would update state law so it is consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations that everyone should be tested for HIV as part of routine care.

    Although the CDC updated its guidelines in 2006, Pennsylvania law still requires a separate signed consent for HIV testing in conjunction with pre-and post-test counseling. The CDC recommends that everyone between 13 and 64 years old be tested. Consent for testing should be given with consent for routine medical care, allowing patients the chance to opt out.
  • Vaughn

    Posts: 1880

    Jul 04, 2011 9:45 PM GMT
    redbull said(this will go into effect in 60 days)

    Bill to Incorporate HIV Testing into RoutineMedical Care Awaiting Gov. Corbett's Signature A bill that would incorporate HIV testing into routine medical care passed the House on June 29, 2011, by a vote of 177-24. Senate Bill 260, which was unanimously passed by the Senate in April and received a concurrence vote on a House-added amendment in the Senate on June 30, 2011, is currently awaiting the governor's signature. SB 260, introduced by Sen. Ted Erickson (R-Delaware), would update state law so it is consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations that everyone should be tested for HIV as part of routine care.

    Although the CDC updated its guidelines in 2006, Pennsylvania law still requires a separate signed consent for HIV testing in conjunction with pre-and post-test counseling. The CDC recommends that everyone between 13 and 64 years old be tested. Consent for testing should be given with consent for routine medical care, allowing patients the chance to opt out.


    I'm glad. We need to control it better before it gets worst and need more drastic control mechanism.
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    Jul 04, 2011 11:04 PM GMT
    Ive been reading that the meds & hiv care is becoming so routine & manageable they are considering letting general practitioners handle hiv care instead of specialists. I think this is one step closer to that.

    Atleast if there was more testing more people would know & become aware of how serious it still is. Alot of states dont even require blood testing before people get married anymore. It certainly cant hurt.
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    Jul 04, 2011 11:14 PM GMT
    Thumbs up to PA for this. If nothing else, it will (hopefully) start more conversations between MSM...out or not.
  • jim_sf

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    Jul 05, 2011 1:21 AM GMT
    It sounds like a great idea, but I see one pretty large flaw: it only tests the people who go in for routine care. If someone skips their checkup because they don't see the need, or because they don't think they have the time, or because they can't afford routine care, then they won't get tested.
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    Jul 05, 2011 1:24 AM GMT
    jim_stl saidIt sounds like a great idea, but I see one pretty large flaw: it only tests the people who go in for routine care. If someone skips their checkup because they don't see the need, or because they don't think they have the time, or because they can't afford routine care, then they won't get tested.


    I think you misunderstand. If they go to the ED or are admitted to the hospital, as part of routine care, this bill will allow medical staff to test them for HIV without an extra consent form and procedure explaining what HIV testing means. Yes, you are still missing the people that don't enter the medical system, but this is not what the bill is trying to address, i.e. testing for HIV in routine medical care.
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    Jul 05, 2011 1:30 AM GMT
    Just to be clear, the patient can still refuse to be tested, just like any other procedure that he/she can refuse. It's an "opt-out" thing.
  • jim_sf

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    Jul 05, 2011 1:31 AM GMT
    q1w2e3 saidI think you misunderstand. If they go to the ED or are admitted to the hospital, as part of routine care, this bill will allow medical staff to test them for HIV without an extra consent form and procedure. Yes, you are still missing the people that don't enter the medical system, but this is not what the bill is trying to address, i.e. testing for HIV in routine medical care.


    I did misunderstand that part, yes. For some reason I saw "routine care" and thought "physical exams" or the like.
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    Jul 05, 2011 6:43 AM GMT
    Without ensuring that an insurance and medical system does not discriminate against people because of a positive status, this can be devastating.

    Consider that if you test positive in the USA as part of a regular medical pre-employment screening, you can be denied medical insurance for a period of 2 years as part of a pre-existing condition clause.

    If the routine standards of care are re-defined without a system in place to support the ramifications of a positive result, how is this anything but a tool to further discrimination? It seems well-intended but not well thought out.
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    Jul 05, 2011 6:49 AM GMT
    redbull said(this will go into effect in 60 days)

    Bill to Incorporate HIV Testing into RoutineMedical Care Awaiting Gov. Corbett's Signature A bill that would incorporate HIV testing into routine medical care passed the House on June 29, 2011, by a vote of 177-24. Senate Bill 260, which was unanimously passed by the Senate in April and received a concurrence vote on a House-added amendment in the Senate on June 30, 2011, is currently awaiting the governor's signature. SB 260, introduced by Sen. Ted Erickson (R-Delaware), would update state law so it is consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations that everyone should be tested for HIV as part of routine care.

    Although the CDC updated its guidelines in 2006, Pennsylvania law still requires a separate signed consent for HIV testing in conjunction with pre-and post-test counseling. The CDC recommends that everyone between 13 and 64 years old be tested. Consent for testing should be given with consent for routine medical care, allowing patients the chance to opt out.


    I saw awesome. The more people are aware of what's going on inside the body the more likely they will be at taking better precautions and care of themselves.

  • jim_sf

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    Jul 05, 2011 4:05 PM GMT
    shortguybeau saidConsider that if you test positive in the USA as part of a regular medical pre-employment screening, you can be denied medical insurance for a period of 2 years as part of a pre-existing condition clause.


    For now, sure, but as of 2014 insurers will not be able to deny coverage because of a pre-existing condition. (They already can't deny coverage for children with pre-existing conditions.) There's also Ryan White CARE Act funds, which provide assistance for individuals with HIV/AIDS who are uninsured or underinsured.
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    Jul 05, 2011 5:05 PM GMT
    jim_stl saidThere's also Ryan White CARE Act funds, which provide assistance for individuals with HIV/AIDS who are uninsured or underinsured.

    Actually Ryan White funds in Florida are shrinking, thanks to guess-what politicians. HIV/AIDS agencies like the one I support are scrambling to fill the gap.

    I certainly endorse HIV testing, which I've stated here before. In fact, I'll be tested again Thursday this week. A bit soon after my last, but I'm having a blood draw for other reasons, and I insist on always doing it. Plus these results are going to a new doctor, a specialist, whom I've already told I'm gay on my initial visit, and I want him to have trust in me, after listing myself as negative. And a doctor needs to know your full & honest medical history, and exactly what he or she is dealing with.

    But does Pennsylvania have an HIV database, into which labs and health care providers are legally required to mandatorily place all positive results? These laws were pushed through during the early days of the AIDS crisis (by guess what politicians again?), with the predictable consequence that many people decline to be tested, the opposite of what we want for public health.

    If that's the case in PA, then I can imagine some people will opt-out, diluting the societal benefit of routine testing. This is what happens when you put ideology before intellect.
  • jim_sf

    Posts: 2094

    Jul 05, 2011 5:17 PM GMT
    Art_Deco saidActually Ryan White funds in Florida are shrinking, thanks to guess-what politicians. HIV/AIDS agencies like the one I support are scrambling to fill the gap.


    I've heard that. Guess-what politicians have also tried to repeal the federal law that, among other things, prohibits denial of coverage for persons with pre-existing conditions. (And, in that case, the repeal wasn't just excising certain portions they disliked; it was throwing out the entire thing.)
  • Vaughn

    Posts: 1880

    Jul 06, 2011 4:00 AM GMT
    jim_stl saidIt sounds like a great idea, but I see one pretty large flaw: it only tests the people who go in for routine care. If someone skips their checkup because they don't see the need, or because they don't think they have the time, or because they can't afford routine care, then they won't get tested.


    I'm hope natural selection takes care of that. I'm screwing with you. I don't think HIV testing should be mandated, but should be encouraged, free and offered whenever blood is taken (even during drug tests and blood donations).