Legislation Enacted to Increase HIV Testing in New York State

Date Issued: 6/9/2014

Legislation Enacted To Increase HIV Testing in New York State

On April 1, 2014, New York State amended Public Health Law Section 2781 related to HIV testing and Section 2135 related to confidentiality of HIV reports. The amendments increase HIV testing in New York State and facilitate linkage to and retention in care for HIV-positive persons. The following are the key provisions:

  • Written consent is no longer required to order an HIV-related test (other than in a correctional facility).
  • Oral notification is sufficient. If the individual lacks the capacity to consent, notification will be made to the person lawfully authorized to consent to health care.
  • Individual must be told each time an HIV test is done – prior to the test and given the opportunity to decline. All HIV tests must be documented in the patient's medical record.
  • Information on the individual’s right to accept or refuse HIV testing will be provided via posters, brochures or videos or directly to the patient by the provider.
  • When used for linkage to and retention in care, patient-specific and patient-identifying information may be shared between local/state health departments and the health care providers treating the patient.
  • These new provisions apply to all HIV testing in New York State, and not just for testing of persons age 13 to 64 in clinical settings. For additional information, please visit the New York State Department of Health website. Questions may be sent to hivtestlaw@health.state.ny.us.