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HIV and the Law

Fast Facts

photo of a stethescope and gavelLaws and policies are structural interventions that can be facilitators or barriers to effective HIV prevention and care activities. Examples of these laws and policies include:

  • 49 states plus D.C. now have HIV testing laws that are consistent with CDC’s 2006 recommendations, nearly twice as many as when the recommendations were released.
  • 32 state Medicaid programs reimburse for routine HIV screening of adults aged 15-65 years, regardless of risk. 1
  • 42 states plus D.C. require reporting of all CD4 and viral load laboratory data to HIV surveillance programs.

What’s Law Got To Do With It?

Law impacts nearly every aspect of our lives. Laws and explicit policies can be viewed as structural interventions for achieving HIV prevention goals.

What CDC is Doing

Given the importance of law in HIV prevention work, the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (DHAP) has implemented public health law research methods to systematically collect and assess statutory and regulatory frameworks across a range of legal domains to help determine whether these legal frameworks act as barriers or facilitators to effective HIV prevention environments.DHAP has focused on the public health implications of state statutes and regulations across key HIV prevention topic areas, such as HIV testing, Medicaid reimbursement for routine HIV screening, laboratory reporting of CD4 and viral load data for HIV surveillance purposes, and criminalization of potential HIV exposure.



The information presented here does not constitute legal advice and does not represent the legal views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Department of Health and Human Services, nor is it a comprehensive analysis of all legal provisions relevant to HIV. This information is subject to change and does not contain measures implemented by counties, cities, or other localities. Use of any provision herein should be contemplated only in conjunction with advice from legal counsel.