H. B. 4483
(By Delegates Capito, Hubbard,
Hutchins, Compton and Caputo)
[Introduced February 19, 1998; referred to the
Committee on Health and Human Resources.]
A BILL to amend and reenact sections one, two, four, six, nine,
eleven, fifteen and twenty-four, article four, chapter
sixteen of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine
hundred thirty-one, as amended, all relating to sexually
transmitted disease; changing the phrase "venereal disease"
to "sexually transmitted disease"; authorizing the secretary
of the department of health and human resources to designate
the diseases which are sexually transmitted; modifying the
time frame for mailing diagnostic reports; permitting the
sale of federally approved over-the-counter drugs for
treatment of sexually transmitted diseases; and making
various technical and drafting changes.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That sections one, two, four, six, nine, eleven, fifteen and
twenty-four, article four, chapter sixteen of the code of West
Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be
amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 4. SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES.
§16-4-1. Diseases designated as sexually transmitted;
prostitution as source thereof.
Syphilis, gonorrhea, and chancroid, herein designated as
venereal diseases Sexually transmitted diseases, as designated
by the secretary of the department of health and human resources
in rules proposed for legislative approval in accordance with the
provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code,
are hereby declared to be infectious, contagious, communicable
and dangerous to the public health. Prostitution is hereby
declared to be a prolific source of such diseases; and the
repression of prostitution is hereby declared to be a health
measure. If a conflict exists between a provision of this
article and a provision of article three-c of this chapter, the
provision of article three-c prevails.
§16-4-2. Investigations by local health officers.
It shall be the duty of All municipal and county health
officers to shall:
(1) Use every available means to ascertain the existence
of, and to investigate all cases of
syphilis, gonorrhea, and
chancroid sexually transmitted disease coming within their
respective jurisdictions and, when it is necessary, have all such
cases treated, if they are not already under treatment; and(2) To ascertain the sources and transmission of
(3) To institute measures for the protection of other persons from infection by
such venereally the infected person, or
from persons reasonably suspected of being so infected, and for
the protection of the public health at all times. and to this
end said health officer, if he be
(b) A municipal health officer may designate any member of
the city police or health department to make any investigation
required by the provisions of this section.
hereunder; and, if A county health officer he may designate any
discreet person to make any investigation required by the
provisions of this section. do so; and while such Any persons
person are conducting such an investigations investigation they
shall have has all authority necessary for the purpose, the same
as the health officer himself.
§16-4-4. Evidence of infection.
shall be are prima facie grounds and reasons
for suspecting that such persons are infected with a venereal
disease, that is, with syphilis, gonorrhea or chancroid a person
is infected with a sexually transmitted disease:
(a) Being a common prostitute, that is, a person commonly
reputed in the neighborhood where he or she lives as practicing
promiscuous sexual intercourse, whether such person be male or
(b) Being a person known to be associating with prostitutes;
(c) (a) Being a person who has been convicted in any court,
or before a police judge, or before a justice of the peace
magistrate, upon any charge growing out of sexual behavior; sex immorality, such as keeping a house of ill fame or bawdy house,
or loitering in any such house, or of streetwalking, fornication
(d) Being a person heretofore arraigned upon any charge as
set out in the last subsection growing out of sexual behavior
where the evidence does not justify a conviction but does raise
the inference that such the person is may be infected with a
venereal sexually transmitted disease;
(e) (b) Being a person heretofore reported by a physician as
infected with a venereal disease, where such sexually transmitted
disease, where the person is afterwards reported as having failed
to return for treatment; and
(f) (c) Being a person designated in a venereal sexually
transmitted disease report as having a sexual exposure to the
infected source of such infection of the person reported.
§16-4-6. Reports by physicians.
It shall be the duty of Every practicing physician or
other person who makes a diagnosis in or treats a case of
syphilis, gonorrhea or chancroid to sexually transmitted disease
and every superintendent or manager of a hospital, dispensary or
charitable or penal institution in which there is a case of
sexually transmitted disease shall make two reports of the case,
(1) One report shall be made to the local municipal health
officer, if the party for whom the diagnosis was made or case
treated lives within any municipality having a health officer, and if the municipality has no health officer, or if the party
lives outside of a municipality, then to the health officer of
the county in which
such the person lives;
(2) The second report shall be made to the director of
health of the state.
And every superintendent or manager of a
hospital, dispensary, or charitable or penal institution in which
there is a case of venereal disease shall report the same under
like conditions(b) The reports
above required by this section shall state:
(1) The street number and address of the person reported as
diseased; , (2) the age, sex, color, race, marital state and
occupation of such the person; , (3) the date of the onset of the
disease; , (4) the source anatomical site of the infection and the
date and type of treatment; and (5) persons having a sexual
exposure to the infected person reported, if any are identified
by the infected person. whether said disease is in an infectious
state, and whether the person reported is at the time of making
report engaged in any occupation forbidden under this article and
hereafter mentioned. The reports when made out shall be mailed
or handed delivered to the parties to whom they are directed to
be made within forty-eight hours after a diagnosis is made or
treatment started; and the within the specifications and time
frame established by the director pursuant to rules proposed for
legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article
three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code.
(c) Municipal and county health
officer or county health officer, as the case may be, officers shall file and preserve
said the reports required by this section: Provided, That all
records, reports and other information provided under this
section shall be confidential and exempt from public disclosure
under the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-b of this code:
Provided, however, That and they all reports shall be open to
inspection by the director of the state department division of
health, and by local health officers, or officers whose duties
are connected with executing the laws against these diseases:
Provided further, That any person who knowingly and willfully
divulges or discloses any information entitled to protection
under this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon
conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than five thousand
dollars, or imprisoned in the county jail for not more than one
year, or both fined and imprisoned: And provided further, That
the department shall propose regulations relating hereto for
approval by the Legislature in accordance with article three,
chapter twenty-nine-a and such regulations shall include, but not
be limited to, provisions for the implementation of the
confidentiality provisions pertaining to this section.
It shall be the duty of Every physician or other person
who examines or treats a person having syphilis, gonorrhea, or
chancroid, to a sexually transmitted disease shall instruct said
the person in measures for preventing the spread of such the
disease, and to inform him or her of the necessity of taking treatment until cured. and all such persons who were
(b) Any person who has been examined and found infected, or
are is being treated for a sexually transmitted disease as above
set out provided by this section, shall follow such the
directions given by the treating physician or other person and
take such precautions as are necessary and are recommended. and
every Any person starting to take treatment shall continue such
the treatment until discharged by said the physician or other
person treating him and or her.
failure infected person who fails to return for
further treatment within ten days after the last date set by said
the physician or other person for said the patient to return for
further treatment, without lawful excuse therefor, shall be is
guilty of a misdemeanor and such person shall be punished as
hereinafter provided in section twenty-six of this article.
(d) After the expiration of the ten days
for the patient to return for treatment shall have expired,
provided in subsection (c) of this section, the physician or
other person to whom said the patient should have returned for
treatment shall, unless he or she has knowledge of good reasons
why said the patient failed to return, make a report of the facts
in the case to the local health officer having proper
jurisdiction. and said The local health officer shall at once
make an investigation to ascertain why said the patient failed to
return, and shall take any steps necessary in the matter to
protect the public health, and to this end he may including obtaining the arrest, detain detention and quarantine said
patient so failing to return for treatment of the patient.
§16-4-11. Precautions as to exposure to disease.
Whenever any attending physician or other person knows or
has good reasons to believe that any person having
gonorrhea or chancroid a sexually transmitted disease is so
conducting himself or herself, or is about to so conduct himself
or herself, in such a manner as to expose other persons to
infection, such the physician or other person shall at once
notify the local health officer having jurisdiction of the facts
in the case, giving the name and address of the party; and said
person. The local health officer, upon receipt of such the
notice, shall at once cause an investigation to be made to
ascertain what should be done in the premises, and may do
whatever is necessary to protect the public health.
§16-4-15. Form and execution of warrant.
Such warrant or order mentioned in the preceding section
Any warrant or order issued pursuant to the provisions of section
fourteen of this article shall be directed to the chief of police
if within a municipality, or to any the county sheriff or
constable if without not in a municipality or to any other
officer qualified to execute process, directing said the officer
to apprehend the person mentioned, therein and to bring said
party him or her before the said health officer at a time and
place set out in the warrant or order, there to be further dealt
with as provided by law. and said The officer to whom the warrant is directed shall execute the same the warrant in the
same manner as are other papers of like character or kind. And(b) Pending a hearing in the matter
said the officer may for
safekeeping, lodge said the person so apprehended under warrant,
in jail or in any other place of detention that may have has been
provided for such persons. but The health officer may at his or
her discretion and by indorsement on the warrant at the time of
its issuance, direct any other disposition to be made of the
person arrested, before trial. as to him shall appear proper,
and said The officer executing the warrant shall be guided
thereby by the warrant, but said officer shall may not be held
responsible should if the person arrested escape escapes. Said
warrant above required to be issued shall be(c) The warrant is sufficient if it is in words and figures
as follows (the blanks to be filled as necessary in each case):
State of West Virginia, Office of ........................
County (or City) of ......... County (or City) of ..........
To................, Chief of Police or Sheriff
of .......... City, of County of .........:
It having been brought to the attention of the undersigned
health officer for (city or county) of ................, West
Virginia, that .............., reported as living or residing at
said (city or county), is infected, or is
reasonably suspected of being infected, with one or more venereal
sexually transmitted diseases to wit: syphilis, gonorrhea, and chancroid by reason of the fact that said ............... has
been reported as (set out any reasons set in section fourteen of
this article, or other reasons)
and therefore reasonably suspected of being
so infected; and as
such the diseases have been declared to be infectious,
contagious, communicable and dangerous to the public health.
These are therefore to command This warrant commands you to
apprehend the said ......................, if found within your
jurisdiction bailiwick, and to bring ................ before me
at my office in the city or county of .................. on the
.............. day of ..............., 19 ...., at ........
o'clock, .... M, there to be further dealt with as provided by
Given under my hand, this the .............. day of
..............., 19 .....
Health Officer or Commissioner.
City (or County) of ..............
§16-4-24. Offenses by druggists.
(a) No druggist, pharmacist or other person, not a licensed
physician under the laws of the state,
shall may prescribe,
recommend, or sell, compound or mix to any person any drugs,
medicines or other substances to be used for the cure or alleviation of syphilis, gonorrhea or chancroid a sexually
transmitted disease, no matter whether said including drugs,
medicines or substances that are patented, or proprietary or
otherwise, or compound or mix any drugs, medicines or other
compounds for any of said purposes aforesaid except upon unless:
(1) The druggist or pharmacist receives a written
prescription, formula or order written for the person for whom
the drugs or medicines are compounded and signed by a physician
licensed to practice under the laws of the state; or
(2) The drug being recommended or sold has received federal
food and drug administration approval for over-the-counter use.
(b) All drugs, medicines or substances that are
known to the medical profession as being commonly used for such
purposes as aforesaid for the cure or alleviation of said
sexually transmitted diseases, whether the name is on the bottles
or labels or not, shall be construed as coming within is subject
to the prohibition above and prohibitions established pursuant
to the provisions of this section.
(c) All drugstores shall be at all times open to the
inspection of any local health officer, or to any party
designated by the director of the
bureau of venereal diseases
sexually transmitted diseases program of the state, to see
determine whether the provisions of this section are being
carried out by said the druggists or stores. A sale by a clerk
shall also be is considered as a sale by the owner or proprietor,
and both may be prosecuted hereunder under the provisions of this article for a misdemeanor.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to allow the secretary of
the department of health and human resources to designate by rule
the diseases which are sexually transmitted.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken
from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added.