MASSACHUSETTS: Approves Coded-Identifier HIV Reporting
Massachusetts' Department of Public Health Tuesday approved an anonymous HIV reporting system that requires doctors to report all HIV cases to state health officials beginning in January of next year, the Boston Herald reports. The reporting plan received a "last-minute amendment" to continue anonymous testing, inserted by department staffers in response to a study published in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association which found that HIV positive individuals who receive anonymous testing get tested earlier and receive earlier treatment. Jean Maguire, director of the state's AIDS bureau, "said 60% of those who are tested at state sites choose anonymous testing," and that for "tracking purposes, those who are tested anonymously will be picked up by the system later, most likely when they enter treatment." Public Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Koh said, "We'll be one of the few states tracking HIV on a non-name basis. We'll be making public health history." Maryland and Hawaii are the only other states with coded HIV reporting systems (Lasalandra, Boston Herald, 10/28). The state will review its policy again after two years (Estrin, AP/Boston Globe, 10/28). Click here for previous Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report coverage of HIV reporting in Massachusetts.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.