HIV/AIDS Skepticism

Pointing to evidence that HIV is not the necessary and sufficient cause of AIDS

HIV testing without specific informed consent

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/10/08

I didn’t know that
“Massachusetts is one of only eight states that still require separate written consent between patients and health care providers to authorize a HIV test. Unlike cholesterol counts or cancer screening, which fall under the ‘general consent’ form for all other blood tests, a doctor in Massachusetts cannot legally test for HIV without separate, specific written consent from a patient” [“Outdated laws block earlier detection, treatment of HIV”, by Patricia Jehlen and Calvin Cohen, 6 October 2009]

So in 42 states, the “informed” consent document we all have to sign when being admitted to hospital for anything at all, and which I suspect others sign without reading, as I do, exposes us to the clear and present danger of being “HIV”-tested.

“In 2006 the CDC recommended that HIV tests be made more common and routine, prompting 15 states to update their laws. . . . Studies by scientists at CDC and elsewhere have already shown that, when the hurdle of additional written consent for HIV testing is removed, more cases are identified earlier”.
Yes, of course. More testing –> more positive tests.

“Senate Bill 821, which was introduced earlier this year and comes up for a hearing on Beacon Hill today, will fully implement the CDC’s recommendation on HIV/AIDS testing and remove the outdated barriers that have discouraged patients from accessing the full host of health benefits available to them. The bill maintains the strong existing privacy protections around the disclosure of an individual’s health status. Anyone who tests positive for HIV would be guaranteed access to post-test counseling, as well as referrals to support services” [emphasis added].
That’s exactly what is to be feared, that “full host of health benefits”. See what Karri Stokely has to say about that from personal experience; or Audrey Serrano.

“The bill will not lead to people being tested against their will or without their knowledge, as a patient’s general consent for medical care is still required to conduct an HIV test.”
Has anyone tried to get the care they actually need in a hospital in the United States — colonoscopy, hernia operation, whatever —  WITHOUT signing such a form?

“Patricia Jehlen, lead sponsor of Senate Bill 821, represents the Second Middlesex District in the Massachusetts Senate. Dr. Calvin Cohen is clinical research director at the Community Research Initiative of New England and Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates.”

It’s always nice to get opinions and proposed legislation from people who know what they’re talking about and have no conflicts of interest.

6 Responses to “HIV testing without specific informed consent”

  1. Philip said

    YES Henry! Why deny all those people the full health benefits! Let’s give more unfortunate people whose only illness is an aberrant lab test value the whole shebang! And what will these people win?

    FIRSTLY Instant DISCRIMINATION! Yes Henry! Now our contestants will have problems getting insurance, getting entry into certain countries, and will have to have their names listed in databases like common criminals!

    SECONDLY, a lifetime of being badgered into taking mood-and-life altering drugs that apparently do more harm than good!

    THIRDLY, having freedoms, such as the freedom to choose to breastfeed children, taken away from you!


    Seriously Henry, if only there wasn’t such a stigma attached to a “positive” test result, then this whole mandatory testing or in this case, informed consent business wouldn’t be such a big deal. I mean, if a lab test result can alter one’s life so much, then it better damn well be explained to the patient and the patient better gosh darned well have the CHOICE to allow it or not.

    And that’s not even taking into account just how arbitrary a “positive” result is!

  2. John said

    In the UK it’s apparently routine to do an “HIV test” without consent.

    I was seeing a National Health Service doctor for being very run down for much of the time.

    It wasn’t a first move, but at one stage he had some of my blood tested and, at my next visit, reeled off the results. Amongst all the other negatives was HIV.

    I was pretty stunned as nothing at all had been previously said and he had no reason to think that I was in a “risk” group — not least because I’m not.

    I should have queried the HIV test but this doctor has otherwise been very amenable and I didn’t want to get into an argument about the worth of such a test.

    I guess I was also extremely relieved that the “test” was negative, simply because of the potentially horrendous consequences of the positive label.

    • Henry Bauer said

      John: Thanks for this information. I’ll ask my UK contacts what they know.

    • Philip said

      In retrospect I remember a story I heard from a colleague in China. Her father was admitted for lung cancer and the family was surprised that HIV was included in the initial lab tests, since no one had asked about it.

  3. denise said

    I went to my Dr’s office because I was told in the ER that I may have a tick bite. Well, they took 5 bottles of blood. Supposed to be checking for lyme disease. Well, they called me back a second time and I was told that one of the blood tests never came out and they again took 3 more bottles of blood. I was told they were going to do a Western Blot. Well two days later the Dr’s office called and over the phone informed me all my tests came back negative. Well, I was mad. I called the lab asking what kind of Western Blot test was run. I was never told they ran an HIV test on me. I went back to the Dr’s office; I was told the lab made a mistake and they just ran one. When the Dr’s office called they never informed me I had been checked for HIV. I worked in the medical field and so I know a Western Blot for a tick bite doesn’t come back in two days. The manager of the office made excuses for this bad behavior. I was never told on three visits to their office that I had been checked for HIV, [but they] called me on the phone to say all your tests came back negative. Well what the …….. I only found out because I got my records and no one cared about my rash or tick bite. They offered to send me out after the rash is gone to a dermatologist. They treated me like the trash they thought I was. So much for privacy and so much for letting me know. The Dr said no one told me because they wanted to get the test results back [first]. Well, no one told me I was checked for HIV even after the test came back negative. I am outraged…..;.;……….everyone in his office knew and they knew I didn’t …………..

    • Henry Bauer said

      I expect your story is far from unique. At doctors’ offices, hospitals, even dentists, I’m given loads of forms to sign and I don’t read most of them, because you have to sign them or not be treated. Among all that paper there may be something agreeing to an HIV test.

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