Removal of Special Consent for HIV Testing
Update on HIV Test Procedure Policy Changes
Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR's) have been revised to align with Senate Bill 1507, passed in February, 2012. These policy changes allow health care providers to obtain consent for HIV testing in a manner similar to that used for other common tests. For more information, please review the OAR Revision.
HIV Test Procedures for Health Care Providers
In Oregon, patients receiving an HIV test from a licensed health care provider or designee must be notified that HIV testing may occur and must be given an opportunity to decline. That’s it. Patients can be notified verbally by any member of the health care team or in writing via a general medical consent form, brochure, or fact sheet.
As long as patients are notified that testing may be conducted and can decline to be tested, health care providers are free to decide their own procedures for accomplishing this. If they wish, agencies may insert the following OAR-compliant language into their general form for consent for medical treatment:
"You may be tested for HIV. If you want to decline HIV testing, check this box: [ ]"
For more information about Oregon laws related to HIV testing, please see the Oregon HIV laws guide.
Did you know that routine HIV screening is is recommended for people 15 - 65 years of age? Learn more in our routine HIV screening fact sheet.
For tips on delivering HIV-positive test results to patients, please see OHA's fact sheet on supporting clients that test HIV-positive.
HIV Test Procedures for Sites Funded by the Oregon Health Authority
Each HIV test site funded by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is under the oversight of an “ordering physician,” and thus, may follow the HIV testing procedures for licensed health care providers as described above. OHA-funded HIV test sites have the option to use the model language shown above or to determine their own procedures for notifying clients of the test and their opportunity to decline testing (verbally or in writing)
Additional guidance for OHA-funded test sites is outlined in OHA's HIV Testing Policies and Procedures.
For information about rapid tests available, please see this table comparing rapid HIV tests suitable for use in non-clinical settings.
Previously, Oregon law required health care providers to obtain special informed consent before the HIV testing of a patient. Senate Bill 1507, passed in February 2012, removed this requirement and substituted a requirement that patients be notified that HIV testing may be conducted and given an opportunity to decline.
SB 1507 does not affect the confidentiality of an HIV diagnosis. Nor does the bill permit collection of specimens for HIV testing without patient knowledge or permission.
The Oregon Health Authority adopted rules implementing SB 1507 and those rules may be found at OAR 333, Division 22.
*Revised August, 2014