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Mass. Changes HIV Testing Law, Only Verbal Permission Needed

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Massachusetts is one of just two states requiring written consent for doctors to screen patients for HIV, but that will change this week. Starting Thursday, doctors will only need verbal permission to conduct the test.

AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts CEO Rebecca Haag said the switch reflects changing attitudes toward HIV treatment.

"This was a relic of the past, Haag said. "Fifteen percent of people living in Massachusetts don't know their status. And that's a much bigger barrier to ending this epidemic than written informed consent."

Under the new state law, doctors still need written permission to share test results with other health care providers.

This program aired on July 23, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

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