NAMES-BASED REPORTING: CDC Guidelines Could Discourage HIV Testing
The CDC's new guidelines that recommend names-based HIV reporting have the "very real potential of discouraging people from getting tested ... and in turn denying them drugs that could prolong or save their lives," according to an editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle. Although the CDC makes a "powerful case" for better HIV tracking, as such information would improve prevention programs and health services, requiring that states implement a names-based reporting system may be problematic, the editors argue. As it stands, the CDC will not withhold funds from states that use unique identifier codes rather than the names-based reporting, at least for "the foreseeable future." The CDC "should stick with that policy," the editorial says. Meanwhile, California Gov. Gray Davis (D) should sign Assemblywoman Carole Migden's (D) bill that proposes a "confidentiality-protecting coding system" to track HIV cases, the editorial says, concluding that "Davis, who vetoed the bill once, should sign it when it comes back to his desk even if the CDC foots the bill. It is important that California be included in the national portrait of the AIDS and HIV epidemic" (San Francisco Chronicle, 12/11).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.