Senate To Consider Bill To Adopt Names-Based HIV Reporting System
The Senate as early as Thursday could consider a bill (SB 699) that would implement a confidential names-based reporting system for new HIV cases in the state, the Los Angeles Times reports. The bill, by Sen. Nell Soto (D-Ontario), would provide one year to create rules for the new names-based system.
Dana Van Gorder, director of state and local policy for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, said 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. Patients tested anonymously only would be entered into the system if they sought medical care at a hospital or from a physician, he said.
The administration of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) has indicated support for a names-based HIV reporting system.
Some gay and lesbian legislators and advocacy groups have dropped their opposition to a names-based reporting system, in part because the federal government is expected to reduce funding for states with HIV reporting systems that do not comply with federal expectations.
Unless Congress or federal regulators intervene, California could lose funding based on the new federal formula because the new funding formula will be based on reported HIV cases in each state beginning this fall, before a names-based system would be implemented (Ornstein, Los Angeles Times, 1/18).