NJ to Require Prenatal HIV Testing

State will make screening routine part of pregnancy care
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2007 7:31 PM CST
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(Newser) – Doctors in New Jersey will soon test all expecting mothers for HIV under a new law signed today. The test will become a routine part of prenatal care unless a woman specifically asks not to have one, the AP reports. Previously, doctors were required only to offer the test. Doctors also must test infants when the mother’s status is positive or unknown.

The law will “significantly reduce the number of infections to newborns and help break down the stigma associated with the disease," said acting Gov. Richard Codey. If a woman tests positive, certain medications can greatly reduce the risk that her child will be born with HIV, Bloomberg notes. Arkansas, Michigan, Tennessee, and Texas have similar policies.