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July 30, 2010

New laws will reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS, advocates say

Politics on the Hudson: "Gov. David Paterson announced today that he signed two bills aimed at reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS. The first will allow patients to agree to HIV testing in a general consent form that stays in effect until it expires or consent is revoked, and it will require health-care providers to offer testing to patients who are between 13 and 64. The second law clarifies that intravenous drug users who are part of a needle-exchange program can’t be prosecuted for having trace amounts of drugs in syringes they are turning in.

“By making HIV testing a routine part of health care, this legislation will increase HIV testing rates, letting people learn their status and begin treatment at an earlier stage, which can significantly improve the length and quality of life and help reduce transmission of the disease,” Paterson said in a statement."