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On World Aids Day, Texas More "Progressive" on Testing than Obama Administration.

On World Aids Day, Texas More "Progressive" on Testing than Obama Administration.

Picture of John  Sepulvado

Two things on this World Aids Day-

#1 This article seems to suggest a mandatory HIV screen law, with some opt-out provisions, might have legs in Texas:

Texans having blood drawn as part of any routine medical testing would be screened for the infection that causes AIDS under proposed new state legislation.

The bill, filed Wednesday by Texas Sen. Rodney Ellis, would require that health care providers inform patients that an HIV test will be performed on their blood unless they opt out.

The bill is based on a 2006 recommendation by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that such testing become more routine for people 13 to 64."I'm trying to take the stigma out of HIV-AIDS testing," said Ellis, D-Houston, who timed the filing to coincide with World AIDS Day. "If we can make HIV testing as commonplace as getting a physical or a flu shot, I think we can reduce the toll of this disease in Texas."

(Side note: Rodney Ellis was the first person I quoted for my first story in Texas. HE NEEDS A NEW JOB.)

Meanwhile the CDC is not going anywhere near mandatory testing. From Talk of the Nation:

COX: Is mandatory testing something that you support?

Dr. BRANSON: Mandatory testing has not been something the CDC has ever supported. We support the idea of routine testing. We find that most people are amenable to testing, and actually many people think they have already been tested if they've gone to the doctor and had their blood drawn. But we don't really see a role for attempting to do mandatory testing.

COX: Would that not have an impact were it to be in place, mandatory? Not that it could happen necessarily, but if it were, could it have an impact on these numbers?

Dr. BRANSON: I don't think that it would have much of an impact. When you talk about mandatory testing, there's no way really to implement it. I think that's certainly not something that we would encourage in the United States. But activities that we're currently taking in order to reach people, I don't really know how you expand them in order to implement something that would be mandatory.

So, just to be clear:


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#2 The thing I remember the most about Angela is she hated everyone. She was cranky in the morning. She grumbled in her sleep. She would curse the mailman if he came too late.

Angie barked back at dogs. I saw it, and heard it. The last time I saw her do this, we were in Houston. It was hell-hot, and my sweat was sweating, and we were walking around some neighborhood by the train tracks---in all honesty I'm not sure which one---but there were cheap chain link fences, waist high, and small row shotgun-ish style houses. We were lost, we couldn't find the bus, and Angie was spitefully wonderful, barking back at every pit-bull mix that came charging up to those cheap fences. Her face turned red as she would "RUFF-RUFF-RUFF" her way through the neighborhood.

My job back then was to escort Angie from San Diego to Seattle to Eureka to Las Vegas to Houston, trying to find her dad. She was very sick, and her pills = grumpy. She was a beautiful woman back then, 19, her skin still looking fairly healthy. Her hair had lost some sheen. I was two years younger, and we traveled the country like juvenile hobo detectives, hunting down her dad. She said she wanted to see him before---well, what ever could come after. I don't think she ever actually finished that sentence.

Angie was wonderfully crazy, and the saddest day on the whole trip was when we found him, living in a trailer in La Porte, and I left for the I-10 truck stop to hitchhike back home.

I ran into her mom at the SDSU bookstore almost four years later. She told me she hadn't heard from Angie.

I advise you to listen closely when driving through strange neighborhoods, any avoid any maniacal someone barking back at the dogs.


(cross posted on purple policy)

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