Massachusetts expected to adopt names-based HIV reporting

Shift from codes-based system will avoid cuts in federal AIDS grants.

BY admin

April 25 2006 11:00 PM ET

Health officials
in Massachusetts are expected to begin reporting HIV
cases by patient name this fall to comply with Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and avoid
losing millions in federal AIDS funds, The Boston
Globe
reports. Because the CDC will begin tying
AIDS grants to data collected from only names-based
HIV reporting systems, maintaining Massachusetts’s
current codes-based system could cost the state $9
million in federal funds and the Boston area an
additional $6 million in funding, health officials
say.

The new
names-based reporting system will keep patient names on a
secure computer network that will be similar to the
networks used to record cases of sexually transmitted
diseases in the state.

The AIDS Action
Committee of Massachusetts has stated it will challenge
the change to names-based reporting, saying that recording
HIV patient names may deter many high-risk individuals
from seeking HIV antibody tests, reports the Globe.

California Gov.
Arnold Schwarzenegger earlier this month signed a bill
that adopted names-based HIV reporting in California, which
had previously used an alphanumeric codes-based
system. The state will officially switch over to
names-based HIV reporting within one year. (The
Advocate
)

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