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Advocates expect HIV testing rates to increase as a result leading to earlier diagnosis and treatment
February 22, 2012—Both the House and Senate have unanimously passed a bill that will make HIV testing a part of routine blood work and other lab tests performed by a physician or hospital.
That change is expected to reduce the social stigma associated with HIV, transmission of the disease, as well as increase the number of people who are tested, according to legislators, providers and advocates of those living with HIV.
“[It] will greatly streamline the process of offering HIV testing broadly,” said Dr. Gary Oxman, Multnomah County’s public health officer. “This should lead to earlier diagnosis, improved prevention actions on the part of infected individuals and earlier treatment.”
“We believe this legislation is critical to finally bringing an end to the HIV epidemic in Oregon,” said Michael Kaplan, the executive director of Cascade AIDS Project.
Senate Bill 1507, which the House unanimously approved yesterday, now awaits the Governor’s signature. It allows patients to be notified in advance before given an HIV test with the option to decline either orally or in writing. (Read full article)