W.Va. Advances Bill To Charge For HIV Testing

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Facing pressure from shrinking federal funds, the West Virginia Senate advanced a bill that would allow local health departments to charge for tests for sexually transmitted diseases.

The bill unanimously passed the Senate Health and Human Resources Committee on Thursday.

Currently anyone in West Virginia can get free STD tests and can get treatment funded by local health departments if they cannot afford it.

Under the proposed bill, local health departments could continue to provide free testing and treatment, but the default position would be to charge for services.

Over the last two years, West Virginia has lost about $680,000 in federal money for its HIV-AIDS program.

West Virginia's HIV rate is the 16th lowest in the country and is well below the national average.