The Gay Men's
Health Crisis has released a statement criticizing the New
York State legislature for passing a bill mandating HIV
testing for indicted rapists.
believes that the tests may provide misleading
information that could encourage survivors of sexual assault
to delay,discontinue, or not start HIV post-exposure
prophylaxis (PEP) treatment. Several respected medical
bodies, including the Centers for Disease Control and
the World Health Organization, recommend that PEP
treatment be given immediately unless it is known that the
assailant is HIV-negative.
begin within 72 hours of contact to be effective.
bill, while emotionally appealing, disregards
well-established medical information and has the
potential to harm--not help--the very
people it is intended to help," said Marjorie J.
Hill, Ph.D., chief executive officer of GMHC, in the
press release. "This legislation is neither
grounded in science nor an appropriate means of protecting
survivors of sexual assault. It provides a false sense of
security at a time when security is most
outlines several instances where the mandated testing
may mislead the survivor, including tests of the wrong
suspect and tests of suspects who may be infected but
won't test positive due to the "window period" of HIV
The GMHC did
offer some praise for the bill, citing moves by the
legislature to make PEP treatment more readily available for
those who want it.
The Gay Men's
Health Crisis is a nonprofit, volunteer-based organization
dedicated to the fight against AIDS. It provides a variety
of services for HIV-positive and uninfected members of
the LGBT community, including outreach and education
programs. (The Advocate)