Testing of Specific Population Groups:
Mandatory Testing

Q. When/where is mandatory testing allowed?

A. Mandatory testing is allowed:

State laws are subject to change. Call the CDC National AIDS Clearinghouse or the organizations listed below for the most up-to-date information.

AIDS Literature & Law Review
University Publishing Group
107 E. Church St.
Frederick, MD 21701
1-800-654-8188

AIDS Policy and Law
Buraff Publications
747 Dresher Rd., Suite 500
Horsham, PA 19044-0980
(215) 784-0860

Q. What is the position of the CDC regarding mandatory testing?

A. The CDC does not recommend mandatory HIV testing of individuals for several reasons. Although tests for HIV are highly accurate, persons who have recently been infected with HIV can test HIV negative (see Accuracy of Tests). This situation may create a false sense of security, making people less willing to use the protective behaviors necessary to prevent HIV transmission to other persons. Also, widespread mandatory testing is expensive and difficult to manage, and has the potential to violate the civil rights and confidentiality of infected persons.

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