FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--HIV testing will become easier in the state of Florida with legislation to modify patient consent procedures for HIV testing being signed into law last Wednesday night. Originally passed by both legislative chambers in the spring, Gov. Rick Scott signed HB 321 in a flurry of final-hour activity during which he signed over fifty bills into law. The law takes effect on July 1, 2015 and eliminates some of the paperwork required of Florida physicians to routinely test their patients for HIV. While patients will be informed by their doctors that the test is being provided and will have the option to opt-out, written consent forms will still be required for HIV testing by community-based organizations and in other “nonhealth care” settings, including mobile testing vans.
"AHF thanks Florida Senate and House legislators for their leadership in voting unanimously to support the early detection of HIV throughout the state,” said David Poole, director of legislative affairs at AHF’s Southern Bureau. "Given CDC reports that most new infections stem from persons unaware of their status, Governor Scott’s actions to sign this bill into law takes public health policy to the next critical level in our fight against HIV/AIDS in Florida."
The change to Florida’s HIV testing law is the outcome of two identical bills filed by Senator Geraldine Thompson and Representative Bryan Avila during the 2015 legislative session.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 415,000 individuals in 36 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare and Instagram: @aidshealthcare