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NJ eyes mandatory HIV testing for moms, newborns
  Home News Tribune Online 03/22/07
TRENTON New Jersey would become the first state in the nation to require pregnant women and newborns to be tested for HIV under a proposal unveiled Thursday by an influential lawmaker.
Senate President Richard J. Codey, D-Essex, said he will introduce legislation that would require testing for all pregnant women and newborns, unless the mother specifically chooses in writing to reject the test.
According to the Kaiser Foundation, four states, Arkansas, Michigan, Tennessee and Texas, require health-care providers to test a mother for HIV, unless the mother specifically asks not to be tested.
Connecticut and New York are the only states that test all newborns.
""The key in the fight against HIV and AIDS is early detection and treatment,'' said Codey. ""For newborns this can be a lifesaving measure.''
""If early detection can help reduce newborn infections and improve the quality of life for newborns and women that are infected, then by all means, we should be doing it,'' Codey added.
The bill would require all pregnant women be tested for HIV as early as possible in their pregnancy and again during their third trimester.
Each birthing facility in the state would be required to test every newborn in its care for HIV.
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