Assembly Approves New HIV Reporting System
The Assembly on Thursday unanimously approved a bill (SB 699) that would establish a names-based reporting system for newly diagnosed HIV patients, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Senate already passed the bill, and the administration of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) has said it supports the legislation.
Beginning this fall, the federal government will provide funding only to states with HIV reporting systems that it considers reliable. Under the new federal policy, California could lose $50 million in federal funding unless it changes its current system, which is based on alphanumeric codes. The alphanumeric system has been criticized as costly and inaccurate.
The legislation now returns to the Senate for approval of technical amendments. Supporters of the bill say it could become law within weeks (Ornstein, Los Angeles Times, 3/31).