This just in from my favorite, and cutest, ISBL correspondent, Carlos:
New York Governor David Paterson stands up for the LGBT community. Again.
The Latino Commission on AIDS recognizes the leadership of Governor Paterson, Senator Thomas Duane and Assemblyman Dick Gottfried, in achieving a tremendous public health victory for the Hispanic communities with a new HIV testing law.
The decision to sign into law the Gottfried/Duane “Act to Amend the Public Health Law in Relation to HIV Testing” will contribute to expand HIV testing for all New Yorkers, and it will institute significant advances in making HIV testing routine, such as:
- It requires offering an HIV test in all public and private health care settings thereby establishing the offer of an HIV test as the standard of care.
- It extends the required offering of HIV screening to individuals ages 13-64 years old.
- It requires that informed consent be obtained prior to performing an HIV test.
- It facilitates routine testing by permitting flexibility in how informed consent is documented where rapid technology is used.
- It requires that when an HIV test is positive, with the patients’ consent, the person ordering the test must provide or arrange for follow-up medical care.
This is big news.
HIV is not over.
It is not curable.
It is, however, treatable, if you know you have it and seek treatment and counseling.
New York City is the epicenter of this disease in America. Every single year, more than 1000 New York City residents–three people each day–are diagnosed concurrently with HIV and AIDS. Many of these individuals are considered late testers who have been infected for 10 years or longer, and may have never been offered an HIV test by their health care provider. These “late testers” often receive an AIDS diagnosis when it may be too late to fully benefit from life-extending treatments.
Guillermo Chacon, President of the Latino Commission on AIDS: “This new law will allow us to intensify our ability to provide HIV testing in the context of prevention and education to more communities. The main goal is to dramatically decrease the spread of HIV across New York State and link to care those that are in need.”
File this under: Good news.