NEW YORK – The Latino Commission on AIDS recognizes the leadership of the Honorable Governor David Paterson, Senator Thomas K. Duane and Assemblyman Dick Gottfried in achieving a tremendous public health victory for our communities with the new HIV testing law!!
The Latino Commission acknowledges the hard work let by Harlem United, the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, our organization and the powerful state-wide coalition in achieving such an important community victory. The decision to sign into law the Gottfried/Duane “Act to Amend the Public Health Law in Relation to HIV Testing” will contribute to expand HIV testing for all New Yorkers.
The new legislation (S08227/A11487) will institute significant advances in making HIV testing routine, such as:
* Requiring the offering of an HIV test in all public (Article 28) and private health care settings thereby establishing the offer of an HIV test as the standard of care;
* Extending required offering of HIV screening to individuals ages 13-64 years old;
* Requiring that informed consent be obtained prior to performing an HIV test;
* Facilitating routine testing by permitting flexibility in how informed consent is documented where rapid technology is used;
* Providing durable consent where written consent is part of the general consent to medical care with an opt-out for HIV testing. Durable unless patient changes providers or revokes the consent;
* Requiring that when an HIV test is positive, with the patients’ consent, the person ordering the test must provide or arrange for follow-up medical care.
New York is the epicenter of this disease in the United States and each year, more than 1000 New York City residents (3 per day), are diagnosed concurrently with HIV and AIDS. Many of these individuals are late testers who have been infected for 10 years or longer, and have intersected numerous times with the health care system without being offered an HIV test. These late testers receive an AIDS diagnosis when it may be too late to fully benefit from life-extending treatments. Until this week, New York was one of only three states to have legislation in place that would hinder routine HIV testing. This new law will go into effect a few weeks after President Obama’s unveiling of the new HIV/AIDS National Strategy that focuses on prevention, HIV testing and connecting those in need of care to appropriate services.
Guillermo Chacon, President of the Latino Commission on AIDS stated, “This new law will allow us to intensify our ability to provide HIV testing in the context of prevention and education to more communities. The main goal is to dramatically decrease the spread of HIV across New York State and link to care those that are in need.”
The Latino Commission on AIDS applauds Governor Paterson, all Senators and Assembly members who supported this legislation and thanks Senator Duane and Assemblyman Gottfried for their dedication to improving the health and well being of all New Yorkers.
ABOUT THE LATINO COMMISSION ON AIDS
The Latino Commission on AIDS (Commission) is a nonprofit membership organization founded in 1990 dedicated to fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS in the Latino/Hispanic communities. The Commission is the leading national Latino AIDS organization coordinating National Latino AIDS Awareness Day and other prevention and advocacy programs across the United States and its territories. For more information visit: www.latinoaids.org or www.nlaad.org. UNIDOS PODEMOS / UNITED WE CAN