It is the policy of this State that: testing of all pregnant women for HIV shall be part of routine prenatal care; and, in the absence of a specific objection to the testing by the pregnant woman, all pregnant women shall be tested for HIV as early as possible in their pregnancy, and again during the third trimester of their pregnancy; testing of all pregnant women for HIV shall be voluntary and free of coercion; and a pregnant woman shall not be denied testing for HIV on the basis of her economic status.
a. (1) A physician or other health care practitioner who is the primary caregiver for a pregnant woman shall, in accordance with guidelines developed by the commissioner, provide the woman with information about HIV and AIDS, including an explanation of HIV infection and the meanings of positive and negative test results, and also inform the woman of the benefits of being tested for HIV as early as possible in the course of her pregnancy and a second time during the third trimester, the medical treatment available to treat HIV infection if diagnosed early, the reduced rate of transmission of HIV to a fetus if an HIV-infected pregnant woman receives treatment for HIV, and the interventions that are available to reduce the risk of transmission of HIV to the fetus and newborn. The information shall be provided orally or in writing, and the woman shall be offered an opportunity to ask questions.
The physician or other health care practitioner shall also advise the woman that HIV testing is recommended for all pregnant women both early in their pregnancy and during the third trimester, and that she will receive HIV tests as part of the routine panel of prenatal tests unless she specifically declines to be tested for HIV.
If a woman declines to be tested for HIV, the declination shall be documented in her medical record. A woman shall not be denied appropriate prenatal or other medical care because she declines to be tested for HIV.
(2) A pregnant woman, who presents herself for delivery and has not been tested for HIV during the course of her pregnancy, shall be given the information specified in paragraph (1) of this subsection as soon as may be medically appropriate and, unless she declines to be tested for HIV after receiving that information, shall be tested for HIV as soon as may be medically appropriate.
b. The commissioner shall establish guidelines regarding notification to a woman whose test result is positive, and to provide, to the maximum extent possible, for counseling about the significance of the test result.
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