Michael Emanuel Rajner

HIV Testing Bill in Florida Has Bipartisan Support

Filed By Michael Emanuel Rajner | March 26, 2014 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: AIDS, Florida, HIV, informed consent

According to the Florida Department of Health's HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis Section:

"Florida has been heavily impacted by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The state continues to rank third in the nation in the cumulative number of AIDS cases (126,581 in 2012) and second in the nation in the cumulative number of HIV cases (49,058 in 2012). The Florida Department of Health estimates that approximately 130,000 individuals are living with HIV disease in Florida."

Joe_Saunders_Floor.jpgRepresentative Joe Saunders (D-Orlando), and Representative Cary Pigman (R-Sebring), which revises HIV testing procedures in certain settings. The bill makes it easier for patients to be tested during routine health care visits by eliminating unnecessary paperwork for doctors and incentivizing screenings when routine blood work is being done.

Representative Saunders offered the following statement:

"Despite advances in treatment and public education the rate of HIV infections is on the rise. Florida ranks 2nd in the country for new HIV infections annually and is home to over 130,000 Floridians who are living with HIV. Maybe most alarming is the data that shows many of these new infections are happening in our state's Black, Latino and LGBT communities.

"Knowing your status can add decades to your life and save someone else's. This bill removes unnecessary red tape for our health care workers and unnecessary barriers for people who may never visit an AIDS service organization or a community center to be tested."

You can watch video of the hearing on the Florida Channel. The relevant portion begins at the 29:28 mark.

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