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May 1995

Newborn Human Immunodeficiency Virus Testing in New York: A Legislative Quandary

Author Affiliations

Harlem Hospital Newborn Service 506 Lennox Ave New York, NY 10037

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1995;149(5):581-582. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1995.02170180111020

The debate raging before the New York State Legislature over how to identify newborns who may be infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has momentarily subsided, with neither of two competing pieces of legislation gaining passage. One of these, called the Mayersohn Bill after its chief sponsor, Assemblywoman Nettie Mayersohn of Queens, would have "unblinded" all future results of the anonymous testing of newborns for HIV infection that New York State now performs as part of the Newborn Inherited Metabolic Diseases Testing Program. Opponents of such "mandatory HIV testing" offered alternative legislation sponsored by Senator Michael Tully of Roslyn Heights and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried of Manhattan, which would have required health care providers to counsel all mothers about voluntary HIV testing during pregnancy or after delivery (New York Times. June 26, 1994:23, 29). Neither side addressed the thornier and potentially more divisive issue of whether the state should mandate that

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