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Illinois house
committee approves mandatory HIV testing bill

Illinois house
committee approves mandatory HIV testing bill

The Illinois house human services committee voted 9-3 Thursday in support of a bill that requires all infants born to women of unknown HIV serostatus to be screened for the disease. The bill, HB 4306, now moves to the full state house for approval.

The AIDS Foundation of Chicago opposes the measure, calling it discriminatory toward pregnant women. "Because newborn testing only shows the HIV status of the mother--an infant's own immune system develops several months after birth--mandated newborn testing is in fact mandated testing for new mothers," AFC says in a press statement. The agency also notes that under legislation passed in 2003 that expands HIV testing programs for women and newborns, 98% of pregnant women in the state are already tested for infection before delivery and, if found to be infected, given the necessary drugs to prevent transmitting the virus to their babies.

For more information about the bill and mother-to-child HIV prevention programs in Illinois, go online to (

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