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Article
November 6, 1991

Mandatory HIV Testing of YouthA Lose-Lose Proposition

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY.

From the Department of Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY.

JAMA. 1991;266(17):2430-2431. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470170118034
Abstract

Mandatory testing for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in American youth could be a win-win proposition if it benefited young people or society. Neither case is true. Yet mandatory HIV testing policies exist in two of the largest youth employment-training programs in the nation: the Job Corps and all branches of the military. Hundreds of thousands of adolescents under 21 years of age apply to these organizations in hopes of improving their lot in life by gaining new skills while being paid. No one applies because he or she wants an HIV test.

A positive HIV test means an end to those hopes. Youths who test HIV positive are not admitted to the military, and the same was true in the Job Corps until 1989. That year, according to Job Corps officials, the policy was changed to reflect the Job Corps' ability to offer

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