New York Allowing Rape Survivors To Request HIV Tests
New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D) on Thursday signed into law a measureallowing rape survivors to request that indicted suspects undergo anHIV test, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports (Wiessner, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle,8/24). The measure requires that indicted suspects be tested under acourt order and that the results be provided to the survivor and thesuspect (AP/Long Island Newsday,8/23). The New York Legislature in June approved the measure. Thestate's current law requires HIV tests after conviction of rape.
Supporters of the measure, which was submitted by the state Division of Criminal Justice Services,said that the measure would help rape survivors have access to allinformation about the virus before they decide whether to takeantiretroviral drugs for post-exposure prophylaxis. However, someopponents said the bill might give rape survivors a false sense ofsecurity if suspects test negative, adding that survivors might stoptaking antiretrovirals prematurely (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/25).
Spitzerin a statement said that sexual assault survivors "have a right toinformation that impacts their health, ability to receive timelytreatment and peace of mind." Assembly member Daniel O'Donnell (D) saidthat if the person indicted did not commit the rape, then survivors andofficials would be "making decisions" based on false information(Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, 8/24). According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, most states either permit or require HIV testing among rape suspects after conviction, the AP/Newsday reports (AP/Long Island Newsday, 8/23).
Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser DailyHIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . TheKaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service ofThe Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.