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Written Consent No Longer Needed For HIV Test

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

A new Florida law kicking in today makes getting an HIV test easier. Doctors no longer need written consent to give patients an HIV test in health care settings, like doctor’s offices and hospitals.

The law could have a big impact in Florida, which has more new HIV infections than anywhere else in the country.

Jesse Fry is a policy analyst with the AIDS Institute in Tallahassee. He said an estimated 18,000 Floridians have HIV and don’t know they have the virus, according to the institute. 

“We make this part of the routine now,” Fry said. “You’re scheduled for a cholesterol test and a complete blood count analysis and oh, by the way, I’m gonna schedule you for an HIV test.”

Patients can still opt out of the test.

The law is based on U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, and was co-sponsored by Florida state Sen. Geraldine Thompson.

Abe Aboraya is a reporter for WMFEin Orlando. WMFE is a part of HealthNews Florida, which receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Health News Florida reporter Abe Aboraya works for WMFE in Orlando. He started writing for newspapers in high school. After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2007, he spent a year traveling and working as a freelance reporter for the Seattle Times and the Seattle Weekly, and working for local news websites in the San Francisco Bay area. Most recently Abe worked as a reporter for the Orlando Business Journal. He comes from a family of health care workers.