Illinois HIV Testing Guide for Clinicians Released READ MORE
PACPI Commended by Federal Government READ MORE
The AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) strongly supports expanded voluntary HIV testing for everyone, and especially for individuals at highest risk of infection. Given persistent HIV stigma, AFC also supports strong patient protections, which are instrumental in gaining the trust of at-risk individuals for HIV education, testing, and treatment services.
In Fall 2006, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released guidelines for routine HIV testing. AFC supports the CDC’s goal of expanding voluntary HIV testing in order to reach individuals unaware of their HIV-positive status—estimated at over 10,000 individuals in Illinois.
AFC does not agree, however, with CDC’s proposition that there is just one way (opt-out HIV testing with no written, informed consent) to expand the offer and acceptance of voluntary HIV testing. Diverse communities and settings need multiple and tailored approaches to meet their specific needs as well as strong patient protections and vital education.
Illinois can vastly expand voluntary HIV testing AND preserve patient protections: Written, informed consent is not a barrier to HIV testing. Illinois doctors already successfully counsel and test more than 99.99% of pregnant women and newborns (more than 180,000) each year with patient education and rights protections. AFC is requesting $2 million in the FY08 state budget to expand HIV testing by assisting providers with training, technical assistance, and small grants to make HIV testing readily available.
AFC has a long track record championing responsible public policy to expand the offer and acceptance of voluntary HIV testing services without shortchanging patients’ medical decision-making and confidentiality rights. AFC is lending this expertise to several working groups exploring ways to help people living with undiagnosed HIV infection—estimated nationally to exceed 250,000 individuals—in accessing voluntary testing, treatment, education, and other essential services.
As a participant of the Federal AIDS Policy Partnership’s ad hoc working group on HIV testing, AFC has joined a series of discussions with chief CDC officials on the agency’s plans to implement its 2006 recommendations. In addition, AFC is participating in working groups convened by the American Academy of HIV Medicine, which is collecting additional input from stakeholders from various disciplines on implementation strategies. Closer to home, AFC joined the Illinois Department of Public Health for similar discussions regarding HIV testing expansion in Illinois.
Illinois Legislative Fact Sheets:
Illinois HIV Testing Law Fact Sheet for Clinicians (PDF)
Current Illinois HIV Testing Law (AIDS Confidentiality Act)
Illinois Perinatal HIV Law Fact Sheet (PDF)
Current Perinatal HIV Testing Law
Illinois Legislative Reference Materials:
2008 Letter to Illinois House Speaker Madigan from members asking for $2 million in Expanded Funding
Estimated HIV/AIDS Cases in Illinois (PDF)
Call to Action Power Point (6/07, PDF)
National Tools & Information:
CDC Guidelines Website
CDC HIV testing guidelines (PDF)
Letter from CDC Director (PDF)
Community Analysis of CDC Recommendations (PPT)
AMA/AAHIVM Coding guidelines for routine HIV testing in healthcare settings
Hospital Assn. Emergency Department Testing Toolkit
NASTAD Emergency Department HIV Testing Primer
Clinical Infections Diseases journal special edition on routine HIV testing (12/07)
Response from Lambda Legal & ACLU:
The Importance of Informed Consent
Dispelling Myths about CDC Guidelines
Why Stigma Matters in HIV Testing
A Summary of Need for Voluntary Testing
Letter from Congressmen to CDC