Report: State Tracking System Failed To Count up to 70,000 HIV Cases
California's public health surveillance system failed to count up to 70,000 HIV cases, according toÂ aÂ report released Monday by the Legislative Analyst's Office, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
California epidemiologists estimate that between 68,000 and 106,000 residents are HIV-positive but do not have AIDS. As of April, the state surveillance system had counted only 36,000 of those cases.
The report attributes the disparity partially to California's outdated surveillance system, which might be tracking patients inaccurately.
In addition, California still is working to realign its previously anonymous reporting system with a 2005 federal mandate requiring states to include patient names when they report HIV cases.
The report also suggests that the surveillance system might not be accounting for undiagnosed HIV cases.
Lisa Murawski, author of the report, said it is vital for California to accurately count HIV cases because those figures determine how much federal support the state will receive for HIV care and prevention programs.
Murawski recommended that the state institute an electronic reporting system to reduce patient tracking errors. She said officials also could cross reference the surveillance reports with information on residents receiving HIV/AIDS support.
The report also suggests that California improve HIV diagnosis rates by making it easier for health care providers to test patients for the condition (Allday, San Francisco Chronicle, 2/23).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.