California Proposition 96, Communicable Diseases Test Act (1988)

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California Proposition 96, or the Communicable Disease Tests Act, was on the November 8, 1988 statewide ballot in California as an initiated state statute, where it was approved.

Proposition 96 allows California courts to require that certain individuals be tested for HIV infection and other communicable diseases without their consent in these two situations:

  • Victims of certain sex crimes under Proposition 96 can ask for a court order requiring the person charged with the crime to be tested for HIV antibodies and other communicable diseases, if the court determines that there is reason to believe that bodily fluids may have been exchanged during the alleged crime.
  • Peace officers (including city police officers, deputy sheriffs, members of the California Highway Patrol, correctional officers, and certain other types of law enforcement officers), firefighters, or emergency medical workers who have been bitten, scratched, spit upon, or otherwise involved in a potential exchange of blood or other bodily fluids by someone interfering with their duties may obtain a court order requiring the individual to be tested for HIV antibodies and other communicable diseases, if the individual has been charged in a criminal complaint, and if the court determines that there is reason to believe that a transfer of bodily fluids may have occurred.

Election results

Proposition 96
Approveda Yes 5,758,670 62.41%

Text of measure


The ballot title was:

Communicable Disease Tests. Initiative Statute.


The official summary said:

"Requires courts in criminal and juvenile cases, upon finding of probable cause to believe bodily fluids were possibly transferred, to order persons charged with certain sex offenses, or certain assaults on peace officers, firefighters, or emergency medical personnel, to provide specimens of blood for testing for acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), AIDS-related conditions and other communicable diseases. Provides notification to specified persons of test results. Requires medical personnel in correctional facilities to report inmate exposure to such diseases and notice to personnel who come in contact with such inmates. Provides confidentiality of information reported."

Fiscal impact

See also: Fiscal impact statement

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

  • "The measure would result in (1) costs to local governments for court proceedings to determine whether a person should be tested for HIV infection, or for other communicable diseases, and (2) laboratory and administrative costs to local governments and the state to conduct the blood tests, and to notify the person requesting the test and the person tested of the results."
  • "The total cost of the initiative would depend on the number of peace officers, firefighters, emergency medical personnel, and victims of sex crimes who request court-ordered testing, the length of the courtroom hearings, and the number and type of laboratory tests ordered by the courts. Based on available data on the number of sex crimes committed each year, the number of assaults against peace officers, firefighters and emergency medical personnel, the costs of courtroom hearings, and laboratory costs for blood tests, it is estimated that the combined state and local costs of this measure could range up to $1 million annually."


  • Rains v. Belsh. 32 Cal. App. 4th 157, 38 Cal. Rptr. 2d 185 (1995).
  • Johnetta J. v. Municipal Ct. for the San Francisco Judicial Dist. of San Francisco. 218 Cal. App. 3d 1255, 267 Cal. Rptr. 666 (1990).
  • Love v. Superior Ct. of San Francisco. 226 Cal. App. 3d 736, 276 Cal. Rptr. 660 (1990).

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