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Florida Lawmaker Wants To Decrease HIV Rates

HIV testing
Raj Taneja via Flickr
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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.

Vanity Duran is a Broadcast Journalism senior at Florida A&M University. She currently writes for The Famuan, the school newspaper, serves as a reporter for Brand Newz, an online multimedia portal, is founder of UNIDOS (Uniting Nations to Inspire Diverse Opportunities in Society) and serves as an aspiring motivational speaker through her brand LIFE5TYLEZ. Vanity is excited to be interning with WFSU while preparing to graduate with a bachelor's degree in May 2015.