Los Angeles Times (09.11.07) - Tuesday, September 11, 2007
The state Assembly has given unanimous approval to a bill
designed to raise the number of Californians being tested for
HIV. AB 682, sponsored by Assembly member Patty Berg (D-
Eureka), would remove the requirement that written consent be
obtained from the patient before an HIV test is administered;
instead, the test could be performed routinely unless the
"Many doctors now don't test because they need informed
consent," Berg said. "But this makes it part of your normal
Assembly member Bonnie Garcia (R-Cathedral City), who co-wrote
the bill, believes it will encourage testing among Latina and
African-American women, who account for many new HIV cases.
She pointed out that women already undergo breast exams and
Pap tests without granting special consent.
The measure is backed by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which
operates the state's largest nongovernmental HIV testing
program. Michael Weinstein, president of AHF, called the bill
"the most important change in public HIV/AIDS policy in
The legislation, which received only one "no" vote in the
Senate, now goes to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has not
declared a position on it.