California Proposition 102, Mandatory Reporting of AIDS Exposure (1988)

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California Proposition 102 was on the November 8, 1988 statewide ballot in California as an initiated state statute where it was defeated.
  • Yes: 3,208,517 (34.41%)
  • No: 6,116,276 (69.59%) Defeatedd

Proposition 102, if it had passed, would have made a series of changes to existing laws governing the reporting, investigation, confidentiality, and penalties related to HIV infection.

Ballot summary

The official ballot summary said, "Requires doctors, blood banks, and others, to report patients and blood donors, whom they reasonably believe to have been infected by or tested positive for AIDS virus, to local health officers. Restricts confidential testing. Requires reporting by persons infected or tested positive. Directs local health officers to notify reported person's spouse, sexual partners, and others possibly exposed. Repeals prohibition on use of AIDS virus tests for employment or insurability. Creates felony for persons with knowledge of infection or positive test to donate blood. Modifies fines and penalties for unauthorized disclosure of AIDS virus test results. Summary of Legislative Analyst's estimate of net state and local government fiscal impact: Fiscal impact is unknown, possibly tens or hundreds of millions of dollars depending on costs of measures "reasonably necessary" to prevent spread of disease, number and types of cases investigated, testing criminal offenders, and public health care for those denied insurance or employment."


Proposition 102 contained these specific provisions:

Reporting and Investigation of HIV-Infected Persons. The measure requires health care providers to report the names of HIV-infected persons to local health officers and requires HIV-infected persons to report their own names and the names of their contacts to local health officers. It also directs local health officers (1) to immediately investigate cases of AIDS and HIV infection and (2) to take all measures "reasonably necessary" to prevent transmission of infection. The measure requires the State Department of Health Services to adopt regulations specifying procedures for case investigation and "reasonably necessary" methods for preventing transmission of HIV infection.

Elimination of Restrictions on Using HIV Antibody Test Results. The measure removes current restrictions on using HIV antibody test results for determining insurability or employability of individuals. It also allows use of HIV test results in criminal or civil actions against infected persons and provides that physicians and nurses cannot be held liable for damages resulting from their disclosure of test results to certain persons.

Testing Persons Charged with Crimes. The measure allows involuntary HIV testing of persons charged with prostitution, certain sex crimes, or assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury. The State Department of Justice would be required to keep the test results on file and provide them to the courts, legal personnel, and law enforcement agencies upon request.

Criminal Penalties for Persons Who Knowingly Expose Others to the HIV. Anyone who donates blood or engages in prostitution, knowing that he or she is infected with HIV, would be guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in state prison for five, seven, or nine years. In addition, anyone who commits certain crimes (including rape, sexual battery, and assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury), knowing that he or she is infected with HIV, would be sentenced to three additional years in prison for each violation, in addition to the prison term imposed for the sex crime or assault.

Consent and Confidentiality Related to HIV Testing. The measure (1) eliminates the express requirement that consent for an HIV test be in writing and (2) prohibits physicians from being held criminally or civilly liable for disclosing test results without consent to (a) persons who may have been infected by the test subject, such as sexual partners, and (b) other medical personnel involved in treating the test subject. The measure also reduces fines and penalties for violation of provisions requiring that test results be kept confidential.

Protective Clothing. The measure prohibits any employer from inhibiting or interfering with an employee's decision to wear any type of protective clothing, such as gloves or a mask, the employee believes necessary to protect against HIV infection, unless the clothing interferes with the employee's ability to perform his or her job.

Biological Hazard Labels. The measure requires health facilities and clinics to place biological hazard labels on all items soiled by, or containing body fluids of, persons who are HIV-infected.

Compliance with the Measure. Failure to comply with specified provisions of the measure or State Department of Health Services regulations implementing these provisions would be a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail or a fine or both.

Fiscal impact

The fiscal estimate provided by the California Legislative Analyst's Office said:

The measure has three potentially major, and a variety of minor or unknown, fiscal effects:

1. Reporting and Investigation of Cases. The fiscal impact of this provision could vary greatly depending on the number of persons who test positive for HIV infection, the number of cases investigated, the costs of investigating cases, and the types of measures determined to be reasonably necessary to prevent transmission of infection. The costs are potentially in the tens of millions of dollars annually. Costs could significantly exceed this amount if additional measures beyond tracing of contacts, such as widespread testing, are determined to be "reasonably necessary" to prevent the spread of the disease.

2. Elimination of Restrictions on Using Test Results. The costs of this provision to government health care programs ultimately could be in the tens to hundreds of millions of dollars annually if insurance companies institute HIV testing programs to eliminate or reduce their costs related to AIDS. This is because the annual costs of AIDS care in California will grow substantially over time. Currently, a majority of this care is funded by insurance companies. Allowing insurance companies to deny coverage based on HIV tests could shift a significant portion of these costs to public programs.

Potential costs resulting from employer testing programs are unknown. If a substantial number of people lose their jobs as a result of HIV testing, there could be substantial unemployment compensation and other costs.

3. Testing of Criminal Offenders. The fiscal impact of this provision is unknown, but could vary greatly, depending on how it is implemented. If all persons charged with prostitution, sex crimes, or assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury are ordered to submit to blood testing under the measure, the costs to local governments could range up to several hundred thousand dollars annually. However, because the measure does not require HIV testing of all offenders but merely permits it, the costs of this provision could be considerably less.

Minor or Unknown Fiscal Effects. The following provisions would have minor or unknown fiscal effect:

  • Imposing additional penalties for persons who knowingly expose others to HIV through sex crimes, certain assaults, or donation of blood.
  • Changing existing restrictions on disclosure and reporting of HIV test results.
  • Requiring clinics and health facilities to label items soiled by HIV-infected persons.

Summary of Fiscal Effect. In summary, the fiscal impact of this measure is unknown. It could be as high as tens or hundreds of millions of dollars, depending on (1) the types of measures determined to be "reasonably necessary" to prevent further spread of the disease, (2) the costs for investigating HIV cases, (3) the extent of actions by insurance companies and employers to exclude persons who are HIV-infected, and (4) the number of criminal offenders who would be required to submit to a blood test.

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