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

NEW MEXICO: Officials Seeking Routine HIV Tests: Senate Bill


Albuquerque Journal (03.05.2006) - Wednesday, March 7, 2007

State Sen. Phil Griego (D-San Jose) is sponsoring a bill that would ease HIV pre-test counseling requirements in certain settings in New Mexico. Senate Bill 270 aims to make testing easier since current counseling requirements, which take about 15 minutes, can be a barrier to HIV testing in places like hospital emergency rooms.

Currently, most new HIV cases in New Mexico are found among IV drug users, people (or their partners) with multiple sex partners and gay men. But they are likelier targeted for testing because they are considered at higher risk. Nationally, HIV is also spreading heterosexually and among people not usually considered at high risk.

"This argues that the strategy we relied on in the past, testing high-risk populations, is not working as well," said Dr. Steve Jenison, medical director of the state Department of Health's (DOH) bureau of infectious diseases.

In September, CDC recommended that routine, voluntary HIV testing be offered to everyone ages 13-64 as part of regular medical care.

DOH would continue to require pre-test counseling for state- funded AIDS service providers, Jenison said. If SB 270 passes, DOH would initiate an information campaign urging health care providers to offer patients HIV tests routinely, he said.

Routine, voluntary HIV testing is designed to help diagnose HIV infection earlier, link patients to treatment, and stop forward transmission. According to CDC, around one-fourth of people with HIV do not know they have the virus.


Copyright © 2007 -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 March 7, 2007. 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.