August 2, 2012
To: Massachusetts Nursing and Professional Healthcare Organizations
From: Laurie Talarico, MS, RN, NP
Nursing Practice Coordinator
Re: An Act increasing screening for HIV
On April 27, 2012, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law the final version of SB 2158 – An Act increasing screening for HIV – which became Chapter 84 of the Acts of 2012 (http://www.malegislature.gov/Laws/SessionLaws/Acts/2012/Chapter84).
This change in state law removes the requirement to obtain written informed consent prior to HIV testing. The bill now allows for verbal informed consent from the individual being tested. The confidentiality protections for disclosing the results of a person’s HIV test or disclosing/releasing medical records containing such information remain the same, requiring written informed consent. The law took effect on July 26, 2012.
The Department’s CLINICAL ADVISORY: ROUTINE HIV SCREENING IN MASSACHUSETTS has been updated to include this legal change.
The updated ADVISORY can be found at http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/provider/guidelines-resources/clinical-treatment/diseases-conditions/hiv-aids/clin-adv/clinical-advisory-routine-hiv-screening-in.html or by clicking the following link: Routine HIV Screening and Changes to Massachusetts Law Governing Consent - July 2012
The ADVISORY also includes an updated FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) on M.G.L. c. 111, §70F, the law that governs consent for HIV testing and consent for releasing HIV test results, beginning on page 6 of the ADVISORY.