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Exceptions to consent requirements - R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 23-6.3-4

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Health care providers may perform HIV testing without consent as follows:

  • If the individual is under the age of one.
  • If the individual shows HIV symptoms and is between the ages of one and thirteen.
  • If the director of department of children, youth, and families certifies that a child in the department’s custody needs HIV testing in order to obtain “health and human services.”
  •  If a health care professional is exposed to the blood or bodily fluids of a patient while working in a health care setting, a superior of the exposed professional determines that the exposure was significant, and the patient or their guardian refuses to consent to an HIV test, then the health care provider may test, if available, a sample of the patient’s blood for HIV. If the patient’s blood is not available, an employee of the health care facility may petition a court to mandate testing. The exposed professional must take a baseline HIV test within 72 hours of exposure before a requiring the patient to receive an HIV test. Persons that, in good faith, cause a patient to receive a test under these circumstances  are immune from liability.
  • If a test is needed in an emergency and a “grave medical or psychiatric condition” prevents the patient or their legal guardian from consenting.
  • If the test occurs in relation to sperm collection or donation.
  • If an individual is convicted of a Commercial Sexual Activity and is not already documented as HIV positive. Tested individuals must be informed of their results and individuals suspected of being intravenous drug users must be referred to substance abuse treatment.  
  • If an individual is convicted of drug possession regarding a controlled substance affiliated with intravenous or intra-nasal use, the individual must receive an HIV test unless already documented as HIV positive.
  • Upon the petition of a victim of a sexual assault, their family, or legal guardian, a court may order an individual convicted of sexual assault to receive testing for HIV and other STDs.
  • In accordance with § 42-56-37 regarding the testing of persons committed to an adult correctional institution following their conviction.

Individuals tested pursuant to this section must receive the results of their tests. Unless authorized by § 23-6.3-7, test results may not be disclosed to a third party without the individual’s written consent. 

Current as of June 2015