In the United States, the HIV/AIDS epidemic is a health crisis, especially in the African-American community. The Roseland community, part of State Senator Emil Jones III’s district (Chicago – 14), has among the highest rates of AID/ HIV in the city. In an effort to fight this dangerous disease, Senator Jones sponsored a new law to extend a program that allows health care professionals to notify a spouse or civil union partner when HIV test results are positive.

“Informing people of their HIV/AIDs status is pivotal to stopping this disease from spreading,” said Senator Jones. “If people aren’t aware that they are at possible risk of having HIV, then the chances of it turning into full blown AIDs are much more likely.”

Currently, no person may order an HIV test without first receiving documented informed consent from a medical professional.

African Americans represent only 14 percent of the U.S. population, but account for almost half of all new HIV infections in the United States per year, as well as more than one-third of all people living with HIV in our nation.

“This measure is about awareness,” Jones said. “The measure is a step in the right direction towards slowing this epidemic.”

Health care facilities that administer HIV testing may offer opt-out testing where the patient or their representative has been informed unless he or she refuses.

Today, the legislation was signed into law, ensuring the longevity of the program