Maryland Code, Health-General § 18-338.2

<Section effective until occurrence of contingency specified in Acts 2017, c. 668, § 3.  See, also, section 18-338.2 effective upon occurrence of contingency specified in Acts 2017, c. 668, § 3. >

(a)(1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.

(2) “Health care facility” means a facility or office where health or medical care is provided to patients by a health care provider, including:

(i) A hospital as defined in § 19-301 of this article;

(ii) A facility operated by the Department or a health officer;  and

(iii) The office of a health care provider.

(3) “Health care provider” means a physician, nurse, licensed direct-entry midwife, or designee of a health care facility.

(4) “HIV” means the human immunodeficiency virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).

(5) “Prenatal care” means obstetric and gynecologic services performed as part of a prenatal care program, including:

(i) Screening;

(ii) Physical examination;

(iii) Laboratory and diagnostic testing procedures and interpretation;  and

(iv) Counseling.

(b) The Department, in consultation with stakeholders, shall adopt regulations establishing requirements for prenatal HIV testing.

(c)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, a health care provider who provides prenatal medical care shall:

(i) 1. Obtain consent from a pregnant patient for HIV testing in accordance with § 18-336 of this subtitle;

2. Test the patient during the first and third trimesters, unless the patient declines the tests;  and

3. Provide a referral for treatment and supportive services, including case management services;  and

(ii) Follow the requirements for prenatal HIV testing that are adopted by the Department.

(2) Paragraph (1)(i) of this subsection:

(i) Applies to routine prenatal medical care visits;  and

(ii) Does not apply to the incidental or episodic provision of prenatal medical care given to a pregnant patient by a health care provider.

(3) The Department shall provide the requirements established under subsection (b) of this section to:

(i) Hospitals that offer obstetric services;

(ii) The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists;

(iii) The American College of Nurse Midwives;  and

(iv) The Association of Independent Midwives of Maryland.

(d) A health care provider who provides labor and delivery services to pregnant women shall offer:

(1) A rapid HIV test to pregnant women with unknown or undocumented HIV status during labor and delivery;  and

(2) Antiretroviral prophylaxis prior to receiving the results of the confirmatory test if a rapid HIV test during labor and delivery is positive.

(e)(1) As part of a health care provider's patient acceptance procedures or protocol, a health care provider shall provide a pregnant woman with counseling concerning being tested for the presence of HIV as part of the woman's prenatal care program.

(2) The counseling shall include:

(i) Information required for pretest counseling under § 18-336 of this subtitle;  and

(ii) Education on:

1. The effect of a positive HIV test result on the pregnant woman and the fetus concerning the risk of transmission of HIV to the fetus;  and

2. Recognized methods of reducing that risk, including the use of pharmaceuticals during pregnancy known to reduce the risk of transmission of HIV to the fetus.

(f)(1) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, the record of an HIV test performed under this section is confidential and not discoverable or admissible in evidence in any criminal, civil, or administrative action.

(2) Provided that the identity or any other information that could readily be associated with the identity of the pregnant woman is not disclosed, the results of an HIV test performed under this section may be introduced into evidence in any criminal, civil, or administrative action, including the adjudication of a workers' compensation claim.

(g)(1) A health care provider, including a health care facility, acting in good faith to provide the counseling required under subsection (e) of this section may not be held liable in any cause of action related to a woman's decision to consent or not to consent to have an HIV test.

(2) A health care provider may not be subject to disciplinary action by the professional licensing board that licenses the health care provider for following the requirements for prenatal HIV testing established by the Department.


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