Assembly OKs Bills on HIV Testing, Dietary Information
The Assembly on Monday approved legislation to include an HIV test as part of a patient's routine exam conducted by physicians and hospitals, the Los Angeles Times reports (news low in story).
Assembly member Patty Berg (D-Eureka), who introduced the measure (AB 682), said, "This bill is about saving lives." She added, "Many doctors now don't test (for HIV) because they need informed consent" from a patient.
Patients still would be able to decline the HIV test.
Michael Weinstein -- president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the bill's sponsor -- said the legislation is "the most important change in public HIV/AIDS policy in years."
The organization estimates that almost 40,000 California residents are unaware that they are HIV-positive.
The bill has been sent to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) for consideration. He has not taken a public position on it.
The Assembly on Monday also passed a measure (SB 120) by Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Van Nuys) to require chain restaurants to disclose certain nutritional information about food items on menus.
The nutritional information includes:
- Fat content;
- Carbohydrates; and
- Sodium content.
Restaurants with menu boards would have to only list calories next to food items and provide other information upon request.
The bill returns to the Senate for consideration (Rau, Los Angeles Times, 9/11). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.