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New York's HIV
rape bill signed into law

New York's HIV
rape bill signed into law

Under a new law, alleged rapists in New York State will be required to take an HIV test, if the victim requests it, within 48 hours of being indicted. State assemblywoman Nettie Mayersohn authored the HIV rape bill and for over a year has been pushing its passage through the legislature, according to the Queens Chronicle. The law, signed by Gov. Eliot Spitzer, is effective November 1.

"It is critical that a rape victim be given the information on the HIV status of the alleged rapist as soon as possible," Mayersohn said in the article. "When the victim receives information on the rapist's HIV status, she and her doctor can make an informed decision on whether or not to continue the treatment."

Mayersohn's bill first met opposition in committee, though there were 85 sponsors attached. Gay Men's Health Crisis expressed concern about confidentiality, while other groups called for testing to be voluntary.

Mayersohn is also responsible for the partner notification law, which asks HIV-infected people to submit the names of people they have had sexual contact with. She also spearheaded a bill in 1996 that mandated health officials to release HIV test results to parents and doctors of infants. (The Advocate)

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