TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senator Joseph F. Vitale, to clarify minors’ rights to consent to testing and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases like HIV/AIDS, received final Legislative approval today in the Assembly by a vote 54-18-4.
“For many teens the decision to have sex does not include the use of protection or testing for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs),” said Senator Vitale, Chairman of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee. “Sexually active, or sexually abused minors need to get testing and treatment for diseases like HIV/AIDS and by allowing teens to do so confidentially, we are able to help them feel comfortable enough to do so.”
Senator Vitale’s bill, S-2481, would amend current law to clarify that a minor’s rights to consent to medical care and testing extends to minors who are at least 13 years old. The bill also would allow minors to consent to testing and treatment if they believe that they may be infected with HIV/AIDS.
“I value the desire of parents to be involved in the lives of their children, but I also know the importance of getting teens treated for diseases like HIV/AIDS,” said Senator Vitale, D-Middlesex. “This bill will not only allow sexually active teens to be tested, but will also allow victims of sexual abuse to get confidential help.”
The bill now heads to the Governor’s office for enactment.