This document includes testimony presented at a New York State Assembly Health Committee hearing considering bills, as well as proposed CDC guidelines, to institute routine testing and to eliminate most pre-test counseling, informed written consent, and post-test counseling of people who test negative for HIV. The Center for HIV Law and Policy and Dr. Jeffrey Birnbaum, Director of HEAT (a multidisciplinary adolescent AIDS clinic), addressed three primary points in their testimony: (1) pending proposals to change New York law on HIV test counseling and proof of consent, particularly without clear plans for linkage to care, may expose providers to liability under a variety of other governing laws and legal/ethical principles; (2) the available evidence indicates that existing racial disparities in HIV care are likely to be exacerbated by elimination of pre-test counseling and proof of informed consent as a predicate to HIV testing; and (3) there are multiple models demonstrating the efficacy and feasibility of HIV pre- and post-test counseling and informed, written proof of consent as routine components of HIV testing regimens.
CHLP fights stigma and discrimination at the intersection of HIV, race, health status, disability, class, sexuality and gender identity and expression, with a focus on criminal and public health systems. As part of this work, we support movement building that amplifies the power of individuals and communities to mobilize for change rooted in racial, gender and economic justice. We do this through legal advocacy, high-impact policy initiatives, and creation of cross-issue partnerships, networks, and resources.