A bill aimed at allowing victims to ask for quick HIV testing of defendants in sexual assault cases has cleared the state House.
Under current laws, only prosecutors can ask for HIV testing of an accused person and only after a conviction. But the bill would allow a victim to ask for such a test before a conviction.
Rep. Joni Jenkins, a Louisville Democrat and the bill’s sponsor, says medical advances can prevent HIV from spreading into AIDS if caught early on, but convictions often take up to three years.
“So it’s critical for victims to know the offender’s HIV status as soon as possible and not wait one to three years for the completion of trial for such information,” Jenkins says.
The bill unanimously cleared the House, 96-0.