The California Assembly has passed a bill authored by Assemblywoman Patty Berg, D-Eureka, whose district includes Del Norte County.

The bill would make HIV screening a routine part of medical check ups.

Currently a physician must have written consent before conducting an HIV test. Assembly Bill 682 adds the screening to the routine battery of blood tests performed during a medical check up.

A patient could elect to decline the test.

Berg's office says in a press release that about 30,000 to 40,000 Californians are unaware they are living with AIDS.

The bill now goes to the Senate.