Resource Logo
CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

Test Case


Advocate (06/25/96) No. 710, P. 33

When Congress reauthorized the Ryan White CARE Act in May, it included a controversial provision to require HIV testing of newborns by the year 2000 under certain conditions. AIDS activists hope the conditions will keep the mandate from being implemented but say they fear that the provision's passage will lead to more mandatory testing. R. Scott Hitt, chairman of President Clinton's Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, says that testing of newborns could lead to more widespread testing, but that the reason for mandating testing is well-intentioned. The argument behind mandatory testing for infants is based on studies showing that AZT treatment can reverse a newborn's HIV status. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.), a supporter of mandatory testing for newborns, says that widespread mandatory testing will not necessarily result from the measure. However, Rep. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), says large-scale testing is his goal. Before mandatory testing of infants is implemented, the government will spend $10 million helping states encourage pregnant women to be tested voluntarily while tracking the rate of perinatal transmission by state. Depending on their success at reducing transmission by the turn of the century, the states might then have to implement mandatory newborn testing.


Copyright © 1996 -CDC Prevention News Update, Publisher. All rights reserved to Information, Inc., Bethesda, MD. The CDC National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention provides the following information as a public service only. Providing synopses of key scientific articles and lay media reports on HIV/AIDS, other sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis does not constitute CDC endorsement. This daily update also includes information from CDC and other government agencies, such as background on Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) articles, fact sheets, press releases and announcements. Reproduction of this text is encouraged; however, copies may not be sold, and the CDC HIV/STD/TB Prevention News Update should be cited as the source of the information. Contact the sources of the articles abstracted below for full texts of the articles.

Information in this article was accurate in June 28, 1996. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.