Florida Lawmaker Wants To Decrease HIV Rates

Mar 18, 2015

HIV testing
Credit Raj Taneja via Flickr

Florida is one of the top states in the nation with the most HIV cases. Sen. Geraldine Thompson (D-Orlando) is pushing a bill to expand testing requirements.

More than 100,000 Floridians are HIV positive according to the Florida Department of Health, but the rate of new cases is also decreasing. Thompson wants to move the figure even lower by expanding testing. SB 512 would make HIV-testing a regular thing—like when physicians check glucose or cholesterol levels. Co-Sponsor Sen. Darren Soto (D-Orlando) says HIV awareness needs to be promoted.

“I think it’s time that we look at this as the crisis it is and pass strong measures to make sure that people are aware, they’re given the opportunity in a nonintrusive way,” Soto says.

Patients can opt out of the testing. According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention, HIV costs $400,000 to be treated for over a lifetime.