HIV REPORTING: Governor Should Sign Coded Reporting Bill
An editorial in yesterday's San Francisco Chronicle argues that California Gov. Pete Wilson should sign state Assemblywoman Carole Migden's (D-San Francisco) bill (AB 1663) authorizing "the state to keep track of HIV by attaching an alphanumeric code to each case." Up to this point, state health officials and AIDS activists have been "so dug into their positions that" California has been tracking AIDS cases by name, "but not the much larger population of people infected with the virus." The Chronicle states that because "it would make no sense to collect the records if the identities of the patients were totally anonymous," and since "no public health official would want to set up a system that discouraged people from getting tested for a deadly virus," Migden's "compromise" bill is "a sensible way to track HIV." It "would allow the government to achieve its main objective -- monitoring the characteristics of the epidemic -- without jeopardizing the privacy of individuals. Also as part of the compromise, the bill would expire in 2004 unless it were reauthorized, thus giving legislators a chance to review its effectiveness." The Chronicle concludes, "The epidemic's changing patterns -- spreading to women and minorities at an increasing rate -- underscore the urgent need for tracking" (9/17). Click here to read previous coverage of the HIV reporting debate in California.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.