Scroll To Top

HIV Activists Decry Veto of HIV Testing Bill by California Governor

HIV Activists Decry Veto of HIV Testing Bill by California Governor


The legislation would have required hospitals to offer patients HIV tests if they're already having blood drawn, but Governor Brown says he prefers to focus on high-risk populations.

This week, California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed AB 521, a bill that would have required all of the state’s hospitals to offer HIV tests to any consenting patient who had been admitted and was already having blood drawn.

“We are disappointed to learn of Governor Brown’s veto of AB 521,” noted AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which had sponsored the bill. Whitney Engeran-Cordova, the foundation’s public health division director called the bill a “pragmatic public health legislation that would have gone a long way to help California address the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's largely unmet HIV testing recommendations  [that were] first issued back in 2006.”

In particular, AHF decried Governor Brown’s reasoning for vetoing the bill, pointing out that “the governor’s statement that we should focus on high risk populations is contradictory to the CDC recommendations that everyone between the ages of 13 and 65 be offered routine HIV testing at least once.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, roughly 13 percent of the 1.2 million people living with HIV in the United States do not know they are infected. Increasing the number of people who get tested as part of routine health care would go a long way to reducing that number and linking more people living with HIV to care,

Engeran-Cordova added that California needs more testing because the state sees approximately 5,000 new HIV infections each year and they aren’t all “being found” by outreach and education. “Continuing to do nothing more than what we've been doing will perpetuate this epidemic, not end it,

“This bill would save millions more in keeping people from getting infected than it will ever cost," Engeran-Cordova concluded. "Unless the Governor has another plan for preventing those 5,000 new infections every year, we vow to reintroduce similar HIV testing legislation in the future.”

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Jacob Anderson-Minshall