Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-08-31



Compromised HIV Testing Bill Passes House
by Amy Wooten

This article shared 2073 times since Wed May 23, 2007
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

A landmark HIV testing bill that will make voluntary testing easier passed the Illinois House unanimously ( 114-0 ) last week.

The bill, HB 980, sponsored by Rep. LaShawn Ford, D-Chicago, originally included wording that would have eliminated consent and pre-test information in hopes of expanding HIV testing across the state. However, meetings with several groups such as AIDS Foundation of Chicago ( AFC ) and the Illinois Department of Public Health, among others, ended with a compromise.

Previously, providers could test patients only with written consent. This bill, which will now make its way to the Illinois Senate, requires verbal consent prior to testing, and still provides patients with the tools needed to make an informed decision, such as pre-test information. Patients also still have the right to refuse a test, and the sanctions for violating the act have doubled.

The decades-old law required written consent due to the stigma against the disease being so great. But the thought of eliminating consent and pre-test information altogether had many groups worried, particularly when the stigma remains. After all, AFC's John Peller said, 'We can't test our way out of this epidemic.'

Ann Hilton Fisher of the AIDS Legal Council of Chicago is glad an agreement was reached—a compromise she feels is a very strong continued emphasis on prevention and informed testing. 'We know HIV stigma is real and discrimination against those with HIV is real,' Fisher said. 'People should test when they are ready to test.'

Although much has changed in the past 20 years since the original law was made, including medical treatment for the disease, these groups feel that people still need to know when they are being tested. Patients' rights, they say, are just as crucial today as they were back then.

In September 2006, the Centers for Disease Control ( CDC ) recommended that HIV testing become more routine, and also recommended not requiring pre-test counseling and separate written consent. Fisher jokes that the CDC was making HIV testing sound like a routine 'cholesterol test,' without considering the ramifications of being tested without that crucial information a patient might need prior to testing.

'We believe individuals still need to understand the process, the risks, the information,' Peller said. 'It's important to get correct and accurate information about HIV,' he continued, adding that this is particularly necessary when so much misinformation about the disease is still around, even today.

Eric Nelson, interim executive director of Better Existence with HIV ( BEHIV ) , believes that testing without information and consent would be disastrous. 'What happens if you are in the emergency room and the nurse comes up to you and says, 'By the way, you're positive for HIV. You're free to go now.'' Nelson is hopeful the Senate will pass the legislation, and said Illinoisans are lucky that the state legislature and governor understand HIV, and are willing to pick up where the federal government has dropped the ball in terms of funding for prevention, testing and housing.

AFC believes the compromise in wording will be a step forward to expanding HIV testing in medical settings, such as emergency rooms.

'This will make big strides in those undiagnosed Illinoisans.' Peller said.

HIV/AIDS Lottery Bill Passes Ill. House

Illinois House Bill 315, a measure that would create a 'Quality of Life' fund to help HIV/AIDS prevention and education efforts, passed the state House of Representatives on May 2, according to a press release from State Rep. Karen Yarbrough, D-Maywood, who is sponsoring the bill.

The vote was 66-49, according to the General Assembly Web site.

'HIV and AIDS have exploded in minority communities and, as a result, we have a great need to targent prevention funding to these communities,' Yarbrough said in the statement.

The measure, which has more than 30 House members as its co-sponsors, has moved to the Senate for consideration.

This article shared 2073 times since Wed May 23, 2007
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Gay News

Gerber/Hart fall benefit on Oct. 15
Gerber/Hart Library and Archives, 6500 N. Clark St., will hold its fall benefit on Saturday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. "Unboxing Queer History LIVE!" will be an in-person event to celebrate and support its mission to ...

Gay News

31st annual AIDS Run & Walk, with the theme 'Forward Together,' returns this weekend
The 31st annual AIDS Run & Walk returns to Chicago on Sunday, Oct. 2, in order to raise awareness about the disease and funds for the organizations that help people impacted by HIV/AIDS across the city. ...

Gay News

AIDS Foundation Chicago holding Women's Connection Summit of Hope on Oct. 6
-- From a press release - AIDS Foundation Chicago (AFC) is hosting a Women Connection Summit of Hope in partnership with the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) to address the needs of cis and transgender women who have been recently released from ...

Gay News

AIDS Foundation Chicago hosts two-day event about unique challenges facing elders living with HIV/AIDS
AIDS Foundation Chicago hosted a two-part educational webinar about the complex needs of elders living with HIV/AIDS Sept. 22-23, where experts discussed how to better serve patients through healthcare, policies ...

Gay News

National AIDS Memorial releases 'The Black Community & AIDS'
The National AIDS Memorial has released its latest mini-documentary, "The Black Community & AIDS," the seventh film in its oral history project. "The Black Community & AIDS" chronicles the personal stories of nearly two dozen survivors ...

Gay News

DoJ secures agreement resolving HIV-discrimination suit in Indiana
The Justice Department filed a proposed consent decree with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana to resolve its lawsuit against the town of Clarksville, Indiana, for violating Title I of the Americans ...

Gay News

AIDS organization honors actors Farrell, Ralph and Theron
On Sept. 15, The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) honored actors Sheryl Lee Ralph, Charlize Theron and Colin Farrell with the Elizabeth Taylor Commitment to End AIDS Award at The Elizabeth Taylor Ball to End AIDS ...

Gay News

SCOTUS sides with New York university's LGBTQ+ club for now
On Sept. 14, the U.S. Supreme Court, by a vote of five to four, declined a request from Yeshiva University in New York to block a New York County Supreme Court order that requires the university ...

Gay News

Illinois HIV Care Connect introduces its HIV and Aging Campaign
In advance of National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day on Sept. 18, Illinois HIV Care Connect has introduced its HIV and Aging Campaign. Persons aged 50 and older make up nearly half of persons living with ...

Gay News

ONE Archives names Tony Valenzuela as executive director
The Los Angeles-based ONE Archives Foundation announced that longtime LGBTQ+ activist and nonprofit leader Tony Valenzuela (he/him) has been named as its new executive director. Valenzuela is the first Latinx ...

Gay News

Texas judge: Mandated PrEP coverage violates religious freedom
On Sept. 7, a federal judge in Texas (U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor) ruled that the government cannot force a Christian-owned company to cover HIV preventative medication (HIV PrEP) because it violates their religious freedom under ...

Gay News

Getting to Zero, AFC award $200K to help end the HIV epidemic in Illinois
Getting to Zero Illinois (GTZ-IL) and AIDS Foundation Chicago (AFC) recently awarded $200,000 to community-based organizations implementing strategies to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2030. According to a press release ...

Gay News

Philadelphia AIDS and housing activist Michael Hinson Jr. dies at 55
Michael Hinson Jr.—a longtime AIDS and housing activist, and leader in Philadelphia's Black LGBTQ+ community—died Aug. 27 of an undisclosed cause at age 55, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. An obituary in the Philadelphia Gay News stated ...

Gay News

Howard Brown president/CEO reflects on COVID's impact
According to Howard Brown Health President and CEO David Munar, the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic seemed eerily similar to the AIDS crisis of the '80s. "We saw all the same patterns at the dawning ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Gay judge, brewery threatened, Victory Fund, AIDS Quilt
New York's highest court has designated Associate Judge Anthony Cannataro to serve as acting chief judge after Janet DiFiore steps down, Gay City News reported. Cannataro, the former administrative judge of New York City's civil court, ...


Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.