Breaking the Barriers: How Do State Policies Impact HIV Testing Rates?

Client: Barriers to HIV Testing
Faculty: Tod Mijanovich
Team: Andrew Breck, Noreen Gillespie Connolly, Myisha M. Patterson-Gatson, Carmela Resuma, Gwen Rocco
Year: 2009
In September 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released their ?Revised Recommendations for HIV Testing of Adults, Adolescents, and Pregnant Women in Health-Care Settings.? These revised recommendations encourage routine HIV testing to be offered as a part of routine primary care for people ages 13 - 64 in all health-care settings (unless the patient declines). The recommendations also suggested eliminating several polices that have been identified as barriers to increasing the rate of HIV testing (i.e. written consent and pre-test counseling). In the wake of the recommendations, however, not all states have acted to ensure that their laws align with the new guidelines. This study examines whether states with fewer of these barriers have higher annual rates of HIV testing, and whether certain barriers keep HIV testing rates lower than others. The team tests whether the elimination of barriers to HIV testing through changes in state legislation has increased the rate of HIV tests administered annually.