Published Online: Sunday, July 1, 2007

New Jersey may have the distinction of becoming the first state to require both pregnant women and newborns to be tested for HIV.

The bill, proposed by Democratic Senate President Richard J. Codey, would require all pregnant women to be tested for HIV twice, once in early pregnancy and a second time in the third trimester. Every birthing facility in the state would have to test all newborns in their care.

The state now only requires providers to offer HIV testing to pregnant women. Under the proposed bill, the test would be given unless the mother refuses, in writing, to have it. Before Codey?s bill becomes law, it needs approval by both that state?s Senate and Assembly, and then it needs to be signed by the governor.

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