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Group Says Indiana’s HIV Law Creates Dilemma

A social work group from Indiana University says they have mixed feeling on the state law.

HIV Testing

Photo: Bordecia34 (Flickr)

An Indiana law gives providers the right to test someone with HIV without their consent if they suspect they have HIV.

The CDC estimates that 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV infection. An Indiana University research class from the Department of Social Work gave a presentation at the Monroe County library on Indiana Senate Bill 52 which passed this session.

The bill gives providers the right to test someone with HIV without their consent if they suspect they have HIV.

“I think all of us felt a little conflicted about how we felt about this bill, because as social workers something that we really work towards is dignity and worth of a person,” says Annie Seltzer, a junior social worker. “It’s hard because sort of goes against someone’s privacy and someone saying no they don’t want the test. However, from a global health stand point this was really important.”

The students said to help stop the spread of the disease people need to be tested to know if they are infected. The CDC estimates 1 in 5 individuals are unaware they are positive. Students were required to look at the impact of the bill on populations and come up with solutions.

“It was interesting to see the students struggle with the idea that this testing can be done without consent for some populations and they talked about that a lot in class of whether that fit social work values,” says Bruce McCallister, a lecturer at the IU School of Social Work.

Governor Daniels signed the bill in mid-March.

Shameka Neely

Shameka Neely, a native of Nashville, Tennessee enthusiastically joined WTIU as Senior Reporter/ InFocus Producer in the news department. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational and Corporate Communication, with a minor in Marketing and Masters of Arts Degrees' in Administrative Dynamics and Communication all from Western Kentucky University. Shameka also holds a Master of Arts degree in Journalism from Indiana University.

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  • Rebecca Gardner

    This is wrong.  This is bad.

    This bring to mind Roe v. Wade.  A case that had nothing to do with abortion but everything to do with privacy rights.  This legislation is wrong headed.  We must maintain a right to privacy between ourselves and our doctors.

  • Pingback: How to fan the fires of HIV stigma in one easy step #HIV #AIDS | Sayen CroWolf

  • Anonymous

    No. Privacy does not supersede everything. And this knowledge will help you and anyone you may get involved with. Unless you are a celibate, non needle drug user and non blood donor then you really don’t need the right to THIS aspect of privacy. Honestly how could this hurt you. Why is your privacy so important in this situation.

  • Albguy63

    Couldnt have said it better myself

  • Pingback: Should The Government Test For HIV Without a Patient’s Consent? — The Good Men Project

  • http://twitter.com/Gay_News_Now David Stevens

    This is a way for Republicans to start gay witch hunts. This is against Federal Hippa Laws. This will NOT fly.

  • Mitchds23

    Well, since I was 38 I have gotten an annual blood test and I tell the doctor to test me for everything, wouldn’t you want to know if you have something, the sooner they catch it the better chance they can treat it.  Also, you don’t have to be gay to have HIV, there are lots of ways someone can pass any disease along, so as long as they treat everyone the same I don’t think its profiling.  I think people should be more responsible and proactive with thier health and for the health of others.

  • Pingback: HIV Testing Without Consent | A Radical Centrist

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