157071 HIV testing for minors without parental consent: Has new legislation in New Jersey increased the number of adolescents being tested for HIV?

Monday, November 5, 2007

Bisola O. Ashiru, MPH , Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Sindy M. Paul, MD, MPH , New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, Trenton, NJ
Anne C. Spaulding, MD, MPH , Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Background: HIV testing is crucial to the preventing transmission of HIV, however, it is estimated that over half of HIV infected adolescents are undiagnosed or unaware of their HIV status. The objective of this study was to determine whether a new law (legislation S-2481) passed in New Jersey on January 12, 2006 permitting adolescents (13 through 17 years) to test for HIV without parental consent is associated with an increase in the number of adolescents testing. Design/Method: The time-series study was conducted by analyzing the New Jersey Counseling and Testing database to assess adolescent HIV testing pattern for a 6-month period (February 2006 to August 2006) after introduction of the legislation compared to a similar timeframe (February 2005 to August 2005) in the previous year. Univariate and multivariate regression analyses were used to assess the frequency and association between independent variables (such as percentage of adolescents testing, demographics, risk factors, reason for testing, diagnostic tools used for testing, test results) and the legislative change in HIV testing. Results: Overall, the study showed an 8.6% increase (p=0.005) in number of adolescent testing post-legislation (n=2399) compared to the pre-legislation era (n=2208). The most significant association were observed among females (OR=1.24), non-Whites (OR=1.22), and adolescents over the age of 16 years (OR=1.21). Conclusion: The passage of the legislation that removed parental consent as a prerequisite for testing was associated with a statistically significant increase in HIV testing among adolescents.

Learning Objectives:
1. Assess the impact of a recent legislation in New Jersey that allowing adolescents testing for HIV without parental consent. 2. Evaluate the association between HIV testing in adolescents and the legislation. 3. Discuss expansion of the legislation nationally.

Keywords: Adolescents, HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.