Massachusetts

While we have made an effort to ensure that this information is correct and current, the law is regularly changing, and we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information provided. This information may not be applicable to your specific situation and is not, and should not be relied upon, as a substitute for legal advice.
HIV-Specific Criminal Laws

For the state law and cases interpreting it, go to your state’s section in CHLP’s collection of HIV-related criminal laws in all 50 states and territories, in Ending and Defending Against HIV Criminalization: State and Federal Laws and Prosecutions.

HIV-specific Sentence Enhancement: 
Yes

Massachusetts has a broad STI sentence enhancement law that has been applied to HIV.

General Felony Laws Used Against PLWH: 
Yes
State Guidelines on Health Care Workers with HIV
Health Department Policies: 
Yes

A health care provider is any licensed doctor of medicine, osteopathy, or dental science, or a registered nurse, social worker, doctor of chiropractic, or psychologist, or a resident, fellow, or medical officer, or a hospital, clinic or nursing home and its agents and employees, or a public hospital and its agents and employees.

Calls for Voluntary Testing of Health Care Workers with HIV: 
Yes

Voluntary testing.

Patient Notification of HIV Status for Health Care Workers: 
No
Practice Restrictions Based on HIV Status/"Exposure-Prone Procedures": 
Yes

Voluntary evaluation by ERP (though any of the boards of registration may mandate that their registrants go before the panel)—ERP will make recommendations on case-by case basis.

Minors' Access to STI and HIV Testing and Treatment

These summaries highlight key aspects of state laws governing the rights of minors to consent to testing and/or tretment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV. Any such summary cannot capture the details and nuances of individuals state laws. Although roughly a third of the states permit health care providers to inform a minor's parents that their child is seeking STI-related services, none require it. Also, the law is fluid, and these summaries may not reflect recent legislative change in a particular state.  

Every state in the country allows minors to consent to STI testing and care without parental approval, although a number of these set an age threshold for the right to consent without parental involvement. In these states, the minimum age ranges from 12 to 14 years of age. 

As of the date of this posting, thirty-one states allow minors to also consent to HIV testing and treatment without parental approval. 

Physician May Inform Parent of Minor's HIV Status: 
Yes

Physicians may, but are not required to, inform the parents of the HIV test result.

HIV Testing

Unlike testing for most other infectious diseases, testing for HIV involves possible benefits as well as social, economic, and legal consequences that typically are not apparent or known to an individual considering testing. HIV-related testing is the gateway to health-preserving treatment; it also can be the basis of criminal prosecution for those who are sexually active, or relied on to exclude individuals who test positive for HIV from programs, employment, or insurance. Although state and federal laws prohibit much of this discrimination against people with HIV, the ability to enforce those rights usually depends on access to free legal services, which are increasingly limited and not available at all in roughly half of the states in the United States. Thus, the potential negative consequences of HIV testing at a particular time or location might inform an individual's decision of whether or when to get tested for HIV; or whether to test anonymously or through a "confidential" testing process that reports their test results and identifying information to the state but maintains the confidentiality of those results.  

The American Medical Association has long defined informed consent as a process of communication between a patient and physician that results in the patient's authorization or agreement to undergo a specific medical intervention. Although informed consent is a legal concept rather than a medical one, many states use definitions of "informed consent" for purposes of HIV testing and medical procedures that in fact are inconsistent with the accepted legal definition, e.g., they do not require that an individual receive information or sometimes even notification that they are about to be tested for HIV. The Center for HIV Law and Policy (CHLP) accepts the legal and court-affirmed definition of informed consent; therefore, state protocols that call for "opt-out" testing (a patient is tested for HIV unless she/he objects) or that mirror general consent approaches are not counted as "informed consent" laws even in those instances where the state legislature has characterized their state law as requiring "informed consent." In short, CHLP does not consider or count laws that allow a patient's silence or general consent as granting authority to do confidential HIV testing as informed consent laws.

Pre-Test Counseling: 
Yes

Counseling for HIV/AIDS patients to modify high risk behavior is required.

Post-Test Counseling (Only for HIV Diagnosis): 
Yes

Counseling for HIV/AIDS patients to modify high risk behavior is required.

Anonymous Testing Available: 
Yes

Anonymous testing is available at designated anonymous testing sites.

Partner Notification Required: 
No