Passage Expected for Bill To Change HIV Reporting System
The Assembly Health Committee on Tuesday held a hearing to discuss a bill (SB 699) that would establish a names reporting system for state residents who have tested positive for HIV, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Russell, San Francisco Chronicle, 2/20).
The bill, by Sen. Nell Soto (D-Ontario), would give the state one year to create rules for the new, confidential names-based system. The bill also would create penalties for those who do not adhere to the confidentiality rules and would allow anonymous HIV testing in certain locations.
This fall, the federal government plans to reduce funding to states that have unreliable HIV-tracking systems. The system change would allow the state to retain about $50 million in federal funding (California Healthline, 1/20).
The Assembly and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) are expected to approve the legislation.
Michael Montgomery, chief of the state Office of AIDS, said that it will take at least three years to implement the name-based system if the bill is approved and that the name-based system would not be ready by the federal government's 2007 deadline.
However, officials will ask the "California congressional delegation ... to protect states that are in the process of converting," Montgomery said (San Francisco Chronicle, 2/20).
An analysis of the bill is available online.
KPBS' "KPBS News" on Monday reported on California's HIV reporting system. The segment includes comments from Ged Kenslea, communications director for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (Goldberg, "KPBS News," KPBS, 2/20). The complete transcript is available online. The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.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.