Colorado Revised Statutes Title 25. Health § 25-4-410. Patient consent--rights of patients, victims, and pregnant women

(1)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection (1), a health care provider, hospital, clinic, laboratory, or other private or public institution shall not test, or cause by any means to have tested, any specimen of a patient for a sexually transmitted infection without the knowledge and consent of the patient, which is satisfied as follows:

(I) The patient signs a general consent form for treatment;

(II) The patient is provided with a verbal consultation about sexually transmitted infections, testing, and reporting requirements;  and

(III) The patient is provided with the opportunity to opt out of testing, following the verbal consultation.

(b) Knowledge and consent for testing need not be given in the following circumstances:

(I) When a public safety worker, emergency or other health care provider, first responder, victim of crime, or a staff member of a correctional facility, the state department, or a local public health agency is exposed to blood or other bodily fluids under circumstances that pose an evidence-based risk of transmission of a sexually transmitted infection;

(II) When a patient's medical condition is such that knowledge and consent cannot be obtained;

(III) When the testing is done as part of a seroprevalence survey, but only if all personal identifiers are removed from the specimens prior to the laboratory testing;

(IV) When the patient to be tested is sentenced to and in the custody of the department of corrections or is committed to the Colorado mental health institute at Pueblo and confined to the forensic ward or the minimum or maximum security ward of the institute;  and

(V) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 25-4-201 , when a pregnant woman presents in labor in a hospital, and the results of syphilis and HIV tests are not on record, a rapid test will be performed to determine whether to provide prophylaxis to prevent transmission of sexually transmitted infections to the infant.

(c) A health care provider shall notify a patient who was tested for a sexually transmitted infection without his or her knowledge and consent pursuant to section 25-4-408 .  The notification must be prompt, personal, and confidential and inform the individual that a test sample was taken and that the results of the test may be obtained upon his or her request.

(2) It is the duty of every health care provider in the state who, during the course of an examination, discovers the existence of a sexually transmitted infection, or who treats a patient for such an infection, to inform the person of the interpretations of laboratory results and counsel the person on measures for preventing transmission to others;  prophylaxis and treatment of infections until cured, where possible;  treatment to prevent progression of such infections;  and the necessity of regular medical evaluations.  Such information and laboratory test results are considered medical information and are protected from unauthorized disclosure.

(3) A pregnant woman seeking prenatal care must be informed that syphilis and HIV testing are part of standard prenatal testing and given the opportunity to decline such tests pursuant to section 25-4-201 .  A pregnant woman must be informed that test results inform the decision as to whether to provide prophylaxis and prevent transmission of a sexually transmitted infection to her infant.

(4) When an adult or minor has been exposed to blood or other bodily fluids as a result of a sexual offense involving sexual penetration, as defined in section 18-3-401(6), C.R.S ., for which there is an evidence-based reason to believe that the sexual offense may have resulted in exposure to a sexually transmitted infection, the state department or local public health agency, within their respective jurisdictions, shall assist in the evaluation and treatment of any involved person by:

(a) Accessing information on the incident and any persons involved to determine whether a potential exposure to a sexually transmitted infection occurred;

(b) When potential for exposure has been confirmed by the state department or a local public health agency, examining and testing any involved person to determine whether or not an involved person has been infected;

(c) Communicating relevant information and laboratory test results on the involved person to his or her attending health care provider or directly to the involved person if the confidentiality of the information and test results are acknowledged by the recipient and adequately protected, as determined by the state department or local public health agency;  and

(d) Providing immediate counseling to any involved person on the potential health risks and available post-exposure treatment.

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