The American Medical Association says its survey of AIDS legislation shows lawmakers generally have avoided a "hysterical response" to the epidemic and those in 17 states have not passed any AIDS bills at all.
An AMA survey, published in last week's AMA Journal, found that 450 bills were introduced in state legislatures in 1987, but relatively few were enacted and 17 states still have no laws that specifically address the epidemic.
Reporting and confidentiality laws were most frequently enacted, in 20 and 17 states, respectively. Relatively few states have passed AIDS-specific discrimination in housing and employment statutes.
Most of the 13 states with testing laws follow the voluntary, confidential programs for high-risk individuals recommended by the AMA and other groups.
Florida, however, requires convicted prostitutes to be tested for AIDS. In Indiana and Colorado, health officials can compel someone to be tested if it can be proved he or she likely is infected and poses a risk to others.
New York, with the most AIDS cases (12,313 reported as of Oct. 26), had only a confidentiality law. California and Florida, with the second (9,877) and third (3,251) most AIDS cases, had laws in nine and seven of the categories, respectively.
Nearly every state has considered a law calling for mandatory premarital testing, but such laws have been passed only in Illinois, Louisiana and Texas.