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ACLU, Lambda
Legal come out against CDC's proposed HIV testing rules

ACLU, Lambda
Legal come out against CDC's proposed HIV testing rules

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wants new rules for HIV testing that could increase the number of people tested for the disease but would also eliminate established safeguards.

Under the new guidelines, patients could get tested without their written consent. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, which opposes the proposed new rules, health care providers could also do away with counseling should a patient test positive for HIV.

"The CDC should be commended for trying to increase the number of people tested for HIV, but eliminating the only safeguards that guarantee that testing is voluntary and informed does little to ensure that people will receive the care they need," Rose Saxe, staff attorney with the ACLU's AIDS Project, said in a statement. "Studies have shown that patients who are tested without consent are less likely to get the follow-up care that is critical to maintaining good health. Receiving an HIV diagnosis is a significant life-changing event. Without pre- and posttest counseling requirements, we risk losing a critical opportunity to educate people about HIV and how to prevent the spread of it."

Lambda Legal, the gay and lesbian legal advocacy group, also came out publicly against the proposed rules.

"With these revised recommendations, CDC is shirking its responsibility to persons tested for HIV and missing an important opportunity to improve prevention and treatment of HIV infection," Bebe Anderson, Lambda Legal's HIV project director, said in a statement. (The Advocate)

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