Testing Policies and Laws
HIV testing laws vary from state to state. Some state laws require that health care professionals offer all patients a voluntary HIV test. There are also HIV test reporting laws and regulations. Providers can review their state laws by visiting the Compendium of State HIV Testing Laws.
There may also be partner notification laws and the duty to warn partners of a patient’s HIV diagnosis.
- Advise patients that all partners should be informed of possible HIV infection.
- Talk to your patients about partner services and let them know that if they test positive for a reportable disease such as HIV or a sexually transmitted disease, they may be contacted by someone from the state or local health department.
- Health departments’ partner services help in identifying and locating sex or drug-injection partners to inform them of their HIV risk and to provide testing, counseling, and referrals for other services.
- Using partner services through the health department helps maintain patient anonymity and relieves patients of the burden of disclosure.
- For the exposed partner, partner services notification facilitates quick access to testing and linkage to care for treatment and other services if the partner tests positive for HIV.
Approximately 20% of partners tested by partner services test positive for HIV and were previously undiagnosed. Follow this link for more details on state laws.