The Republic (Columbus, IN) (03.29.13)
West Virginia’s state senate unanimously passed a bill March 29 that will allow local health departments to charge individuals for HIV and other STD testing. Individuals will be charged on a sliding scale based on what they can afford, with health departments continuing to provide free testing to those who cannot afford to pay for testing at all. Local health departments had been providing free testing, but West Virginia has lost more than $600,000 in federal funding for its HIV/AIDS programming throughout the last two years, and anticipates further cuts. With the budget cuts and the upcoming implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the federal government is encouraging states to transfer expenses, such as those associated with testing, to individuals.