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Bill Number: 2807 Ratification Number: 547 Act Number 490 Introducing Body: House Subject: Relating to venereal diseases
(A490, R547, H2807)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 44-29-60 THROUGH 44-29-110, 44-29-130 THROUGH 44-29-140, AND 44-29-190 THROUGH 44-29-210, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO VENEREAL DISEASES, SO AS TO CHANGE THE REFERENCE TO SYPHILIS, GONORRHEA, CHANCROID, AND VENEREAL DISEASES TO SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES; PROVIDE FOR REPORTING OF TREATMENT AND TESTING OF PERSONS INFECTED WITH A SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE; REVISE THE DUTIES OF STATE, DISTRICT, COUNTY, AND MUNICIPAL HEALTH OFFICERS IN PROTECTING THE PUBLIC HEALTH THROUGH EXAMINATION, IDENTIFICATION, AND ISOLATION; PROVIDE FOR TREATMENT AND ISOLATION OF PRISONERS WHO HAVE A SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE; PROVIDE REQUIREMENTS FOR RELEASE AFTER ISOLATION; PROVIDE FOR REGULATIONS CONCERNING SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES INSTEAD OF VENEREAL DISEASES; PROVIDE FOR THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF RECORDS RELATING TO SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES; INCREASE THE PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS OF THE SECTIONS; PROVIDE FOR PROHIBITING OR LIMITING THE ATTENDANCE OF AN EMPLOYEE OR STUDENT BY A SCHOOL; AND PROVIDE FOR THE APPROVAL OF AN AUTHORIZED EMPLOYEE OF A MEDICAL OR HEALTH AGENCY; TO AMEND THE 1976 CODE BY ADDING SECTIONS 16-3-740 AND 16-15-255 SO AS TO PROVIDE TESTING FOR HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS (HIV) INFECTION AND ACQUIRED IMMUNODEFICIENCY SYNDROME (AIDS) WHEN A PERSON HAS BEEN CONVICTED FOR A CERTAIN CRIME WHICH RESULTS IN EXPOSURE TO THE VICTIM, SECTION 44-29-115 SO AS TO PROVIDE REQUIREMENTS FOR ISOLATION, SECTION 44-29-145 SO AS TO MAKE IT UNLAWFUL FOR ANYONE INFECTED WITH AIDS TO KNOWINGLY EXPOSE ANOTHER PERSON TO AIDS, SECTION 44-29-146 SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR A PHYSICIAN OR STATE AGENCY NOT TO BE LIABLE UPON NOTIFICATION OF CONTACT WITH A PERSON HAVING AIDS OR HIV INFECTION, AND SECTION 44-29-230 SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH A HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL MAY REQUIRE A PATIENT TO BE TESTED FOR AIDS; AND TO ADD VIOLATIONS OF SECTION 44-29-145 TO THE LIST OF CRIMES CLASSIFIED AS FELONIES BY SECTION 16-1-10.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Penalty for exposure
SECTION 1. Chapter 29, Title 44 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 44-29-145. It is unlawful for anyone infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the virus which causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), to knowingly expose another person, through the sale, donation, or exchange of blood products or body fluids, to HIV infection without first informing the other person of the risk of exposure to HIV infection. Any person who violates this section is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, may be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned for not more than ten years.
Section 44-29-146. A physician or state agency identifying and notifying a spouse or known contact of a person having Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is not liable for damages resulting from the disclosure.
'Contact' means the exchange of body products or body fluids by sexual acts or percutaneous transmission."
SECTION 2. Chapter 29, Title 44 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 44-29-230. While working with a patient or a patient's blood or body fluids, if a health care worker is involved in an incident resulting in possible exposure to Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), and a health care professional has probable cause to believe that the incident may have caused infection, the professional may require the patient to be tested. The test results must be given to the professional who shall report the results to the worker and patient."
Sexually transmitted diseases
SECTION 3. Section 44-29-60 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 44-29-60. Sexually transmitted diseases which are included in the annual Department of Health and Environmental Control List of Reportable Diseases are declared to be contagious, infectious, communicable, and dangerous to the public health. Sexually transmitted diseases include all venereal diseases. It is unlawful for anyone infected with these diseases to knowingly expose another to infection."
SECTION 4. Section 44-29-70 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 44-29-70. Any physician or other person who makes a diagnosis of or treats a case of a sexually transmitted disease and any superintendent or manager of a hospital, dispensary, health care related facility, or charitable or penal institution in which there is a case of a sexually transmitted disease shall report it to the health authorities according to the form and manner as the Department of Health and Environmental Control directs."
SECTION 5. Section 44-29-80 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 44-29-80. Any laboratory performing a positive laboratory test for a sexually transmitted disease shall make a report of the case or positive laboratory test for a sexually transmitted disease to the Department of Health and Environmental Control in the form and manner as the department directs and shall cooperate with the Department of Health and Environmental Control and local boards of health in preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases."
Duties of health officers
SECTION 6. Section 44-29-90 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 44-29-90. State, district, county, and municipal health officers, in their respective jurisdictions, when in their judgment it is necessary to protect the public health, shall make examination of persons infected or suspected of being infected with a sexually transmitted disease, require persons infected with a sexually transmitted disease to report for treatment appropriate for their particular disease provided at public expense, and request the identification of persons with whom they have had sexual contact or intravenous drug use contact, or both. The health officer may isolate persons infected or reasonably suspected of being infected with a sexually transmitted disease. To the extent resources are available to the Department of Health and Environmental Control for this purpose, when a person is identified as being infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the virus which causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), his known sexual contacts or intravenous drug use contacts, or both, must be notified but the identity of the person infected must not be revealed. Efforts to notify these contacts may be limited to the extent of information provided by the person infected with HIV. Public monies appropriated for treatment of persons infected with a sexually transmitted disease must be expended in accordance with priorities established by the department, taking into account the cost effectiveness, curative capacity of the treatment, and the public health benefit to the population of the State."
Treatment and isolation of prisoners
SECTION 7. Section 44-29-100 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 44-29-100. Any person who is confined or imprisoned in any state, county, or city prison of this State may be examined and treated for a sexually transmitted disease by the health authorities or their deputies. The state, county, and municipal boards of health may take over a portion of any state, county, or city prison for use as a board of health hospital. Persons who are confined or imprisoned and who are suffering with a sexually transmitted disease at the time of expiration of their terms of imprisonment must be isolated and treated at public expense as provided in Section 44-29-90 until, in the judgment of the local health officer, the prisoner may be medically discharged. In lieu of isolation, the person, in the discretion of the board of health, may be required to report for treatment to a licensed physician or submit for treatment provided at public expense by the Department of Health and Environmental Control as provided in Section 44-29-90."
Release of affected prisoners
SECTION 8. Section 44-29-110 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 44-29-110. No person suffering from any of the sexually transmitted diseases described in Section 44-29-60 may be discharged from confinement unless he is pronounced cured of the disease by a state, county, or municipal health officer or, if no cure is available, upon the recommendation of the Department of Health and Environmental Control. If any person is released before a complete cure of the sexually transmitted disease of which he is suffering, the department shall direct the individual as to whom to report for further treatment, and failure to report at the stated intervals as directed, in each instance, constitutes a violation of the provisions of Sections 44-29-60 to 44-29-140 and subjects him, upon conviction, to the penalty set forth in Section 44-29-140."
SECTION 9. Section 44-29-130 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 44-29-130. The Department of Health and Environmental Control shall promulgate regulations necessary to carry out the purposes of Sections 44-29-60 to 44-29-140, other than Section 44-29-120, including regulations providing for labor on the part of isolated persons considered necessary to provide in whole or in part for their subsistence and to safeguard their general health and regulations concerning sexually transmitted diseases as it considers advisable. All regulations so made are binding upon all county and municipal health officers and other persons affected by Sections 44-29-60 to 44-29-140."
Confidentiality of records
SECTION 10. Section 44-29-135 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 44-29-135. All information and records held by the Department of Health and Environmental Control and its agents relating to a known or suspected case of a sexually transmitted disease are strictly confidential except as provided in this section. The information must not be released or made public, upon subpoena or otherwise, except under the following circumstances:
(a) release is made of medical or epidemiological information for statistical purposes in a manner that no individual person can be identified; or
(b) release is made of medical or epidemiological information with the consent of all persons identified in the information released;
(c) release is made of medical or epidemiological information to the extent necessary to enforce the provisions of this chapter and related regulations concerning the control and treatment of a sexually transmitted disease;
(d) release is made of medical or epidemiological information to medical personnel to the extent necessary to protect the health or life of any person; or
(e) in cases involving a minor, the name of the minor and medical information concerning the minor must be reported to appropriate agents if a report is required by the Child Protection Act of 1977. No further information is required to be released by the department. If a minor has Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) or is infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS, and is attending the public schools, the superintendent of the school district and the nurse or other health professional assigned to the school the minor attends must be notified."
SECTION 11. Section 44-29-140 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 44-29-140. Any person who violates any of the provisions of Sections 44-29-60 to 44-29-140, other than Section 44-29-120, or any regulation made by the Department of Health and Environmental Control pursuant to the authority granted by law, or fails or refuses to obey any lawful order issued by any state, county, or municipal health officer, pursuant to Sections
44-29-60 to 44-29-140, or any other law or the regulations prescribed by law, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than two hundred dollars or be imprisoned for not more than thirty days."
SECTION 12. Section 44-29-190 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 44-29-190. Any person who violates the provisions of Section 44-29-180 is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, may be fined not more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than thirty days."
SECTION 13. Section 44-29-200 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 44-29-200. Any board of education, school trustees, or other body having control of a school, on account of the prevalence of any contagious or infectious diseases or to prevent the spread of disease, may prohibit or limit the attendance of any employee or student at any school or school-related activities under its control. The decision to prohibit or limit attendance must be based on sound medical evidence and must comply with the official procedures adopted by the board for this purpose. Before lifting a prohibition or restriction on attendance, the board may require a satisfactory certificate from one or more licensed physicians that attendance is no longer a risk to others attending school.
Any board acting in good faith and in compliance with the provisions of this section is not liable for damages which may result from its decision. Nothing in this section relieves a board from its responsibilities to provide a student with educational programs and services appropriate to his needs as required by Section 59-20-30."
Medical or health agency employee
SECTION 14. Section 44-29-210 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 44-29-210. (a) Whenever the Board of Health and Environmental Control or the Commissioner of the Department of Health and Environmental Control approves in writing a mass immunization project to be administered in any part of this State in cooperation with an official or volunteer medical or health agency, any authorized employee of the agency, any physician who does not receive compensation for his services in the project, and any registered nurse who participates in the project, except as provided in subsection (b), is not liable to any person for illness, reaction, or adverse effect arising from or out of the use of any drug or vaccine administered in the project by the employee, physician, or nurse. Neither the board nor the commissioner may approve the project unless either finds that the project conforms to good medical and public health practice.
For purposes of this section, a person is considered to be an authorized employee of an official or volunteer medical or health agency if he has received the necessary training for and approval of the Director of the Bureau of Preventive Health Services of the department for participation in the project.
(b) Nothing in this section exempts any physician, registered nurse, or authorized public health employee participating in any mass immunization project from liability for gross negligence nor do the provisions of this section exempt any drug manufacturer from any liability for any drug or vaccine used in the project."
SECTION 15. Chapter 29 of Title 44 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 44-29-115. If the Department of Health
and Environmental Control believes that a person must be isolated pursuant to Section 44-29-90, 44-29-100, or 44-29-110, it shall file a petition with the probate court of the county where the person is located or where the person resides. The complaint must state the specific harm thought probable and the factual basis for this belief. If the court, after due notice and hearing, is satisfied that the petition is well-founded, it may order that the person must be isolated.
Any person isolated pursuant to Section 44-29-90, 44-29-100, or 44-29-110 has the right to appeal to any court having jurisdiction for review of the evidence under which he was isolated.
A court may not order isolation for more than ninety days. If the department determines that the grounds for isolation no longer exist, it shall file a notice of intent to discharge with the court before the person isolated is released.
The person for whom isolation is sought must be represented by counsel at all proceedings and, if he cannot afford to hire an attorney, the court shall appoint an attorney to represent him. The attorney for the person isolated must have access to any documents regarding the isolation."
List of felonies
SECTION 16. The crime in Section 44-29-145 of the 1976 Code, as contained in Section 1 of this act, relating to unlawfully and knowingly exposing another person to the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) without first informing the other person of the risk, is added to the list of crimes classified as felonies in Section 16-1-10.
Criminal and victim testing
SECTION 17. Article 7, Chapter 3, Title 16 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 16-3-740. Within fifteen days of the conviction of any person for a crime involving sexual battery as defined in Section 16-3-651 or sexual conduct as defined in Section 16-3-800, if the conduct results in the exposure of the victim to blood or vaginal or seminal fluids of the convicted offender, the solicitor shall require that the convicted offender be tested for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the virus that causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The test must be administered by the local public health authority or the medical professional at the prison where the convicted offender is imprisoned. The results of the test must be reported to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and to the solicitor who ordered the test. The solicitor shall notify the victim and the convicted sexual offender of the test results. The convicted offender shall pay for the test unless he is indigent, in which case the cost of the test must be paid by the State."
Testing and reporting
SECTION 18. Article 1, Chapter 15, Title 16 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 16-15-255. Upon the conviction of any person for a violation of Section 16-15-90, 16-15-100, 16-15-120, or 16-15-140, if the violation results in the exposure of the victim to blood or vaginal or seminal fluids of the convicted offender, the convicted offender must be tested for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the virus that causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The test must be administered by the local public health authority or the medical professional at the prison if the convicted offender is imprisoned. The results of the test must be reported to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, to the convicted offender, and to any person who may have been exposed as a direct result of the act leading to the conviction. The convicted offender shall pay for the test unless he is indigent, in which case the cost of the test must be paid by the State."
SECTION 19. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.