This week, MSMS President Betty S. Chu, MD, MBA, testified before the House Health Policy Committee in support of a package of bills seeking to modernize the state’s HIV laws. During testimony, Doctor Chu referred to MSMS's extensive policy on HIV and infectious diseases, including support for the establishment and utilization of guidelines for routine HIV testing in medical settings and elimination of informed consent for HIV testing. In addition, the MSMS House of Delegates recently approved policy that supports updating Michigan's criminal statutes pertaining to HIV. Included in the package was House Bill 6022, introduced by Representative John Bizon, MD, (R-Battle Creek), which adds a third trimester testing requirement for HIV, syphilis and Hepatitis B. While speaking in support of the bill, Doctor Chu also urged the legislature to ensure the provisions of the bill properly align with Centers for Disease Control guidelines.
While the bills were mostly non-controversial updates to laws that many agree are outdated and were implemented at a time when HIV was not well understood, some lawmakers raised concerns about the decriminalization aspects, specifically reforms to the state's Felony Disclosure law. The committee is expected to make some changes and a vote on the bill package could be held in the coming weeks.
Read Doctor Chu's full testimony >>