Philadelphia activists form coalition to oppose HIV names reporting
Philadelphia AIDS activists in opposition to the state's HIV names-based reporting system have formed a coalition aimed at convincing state lawmakers to rescind the names-reporting law and implement a code-based reporting system in its place, Philadelphia Gay News reports.
"We have a list of policy issues that we want to discuss with the administration [of Gov. Ed Rendell], and HIV reporting is high on the list," said Ronda Goldfein, executive director of the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania, and a member of the coalition. "We believe that tracking HIV is important, but we want to do it on a reasonable, consistent statewide basis."
Pennsylvania's statewide HIV reporting system took effect last October, but health officials gave Philadelphia an indefinite exemption because of strong local opposition to the program. Activists say a code-based system would both satisfy the state's need to track new HIV infections while also safeguarding the privacy of those who test positive for HIV antibodies.