Skip to Content

Sexually transmitted disease – Wis. Stat. Ann. § 252.11

Link to the law
This will open in a new window

Sexually Transmitted Disease

This law requires that any physician or health care professional treating a person infected by a sexually transmitted disease (or STDs, which are defined as syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia and other diseases listed by the DHS) report the disease to the local health officer and the DHS in the format that DHS asks for the information.  The law further allows a physician to treat, diagnose and examine a minor for an STD without parental/guardian consent, and exempts such a physician from civil liability because of lack of consent.  The law also requires all labs performing STD tests to report all positive results to the local health officer and the DHS, with the name of the health care professional to whom the reports were sent.


If any local health officer or officer of DHS aware of a person suspected of having an STD, and refusing examination and/or treatment, the officer must contact the person in order to request that s/he obtain treatment.  However, if the person continues to refuse treatment, the officer is allowed to have the person committed to an institution for examination and treatment.  If a physician is aware of a person infected with STD who is still in the communicable stage and not adhering to the required treatment, the physician is required to report this person to the DHS, and the DHS is then required to take the necessary steps to have this person committed.  The law allows any court of record to issue such an order that would commit a person evading treatment for an STD, and sets forth certain procedural requirements for such a court hearing.


The law states that all reports, examinations, inspections and records concerning STDs are confidential and not open to public inspection, and can only be disclosed to protect public health or during a court proceeding for commitment as described above.  However, if a health care professional has reported a case of an STD and the health care professional is called to testify before any court of record, the health care professional is allowed to disclose information about the presence of disease and treatment in court.


In order to promote public health, DHS is required to distribute, for free, information and instructions regarding STDs, and to compile statistics about the incidence of STDs.  Further, counties where the incidence of a particular STD is higher than the statewide average, the law requires that the county introduce a program to diagnose and treat STDs at no cost to the patient.

Current as of June 2015