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State senator seeks to increase HIV testing rates

Category: HIV

Health experts say that increasing HIV testing is one of the keys to reducing the prevalence of the disease. In an effort to get more people screened, some have proposed making HIV testing a part of regular health checkups.

One state senator in Texas recently filed legislation seeking to do this. Senator Rodney Ellis' bill would require primary care physicians to offer patients an HIV test during the course of all standard physical examinations. Furthermore, it would increase reimbursement rates for doctors that provide the procedure to Medicaid patients.

"It is my hope that this legislation will make HIV testing as routine as getting a physical or flu shot and move our state forward in reducing the number of individuals infected from this virus." Ellis said. "This legislation also aims to remove legal and reimbursement barriers, in addition to reducing the stigma by making testing routine."

The proposal is in keeping with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency has proposed that all adults receive regular HIV testing and that individuals in high-risk groups get tested every year.

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