Scroll To Top

considers switching to names-based HIV reporting

considers switching to names-based HIV reporting

California officials are considering changing the state's HIV reporting system from its current codes-based system to one of simply recording the names of those testing positive for HIV antibodies because the current system is a "bureaucratic morass," the Los Angeles Times reports. California began reporting HIV cases to the federal government only three years ago and chose to used a codes-based system to protect the privacy of the state's HIV-positive people. The codes use a complex combination of a patient's birth date, gender, and some letters from their last name.

But health officials say "countless" cases are being lost in the system because of incorrect or incomplete codes or because doctors and labs fail to keep key patient data. Because of these problems, the state is unable to accurately track infection trends and allocate state and federal resources to areas with rising HIV levels, according to state AIDS experts. They also say the codes-based system makes it difficult to follow up with patients, to notify the sex partners of those who've tested positive for HIV infection so that they can be screened for the disease, and to eliminate duplicate case reports.

State officials also are considering switching to names-based HIV case reporting because the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not consider codes-based reporting to be as reliable as names-based systems and could withhold some HIV prevention and treatment funds from the state because it is unable to correctly gauge the impact of the disease among Californians. State officials say California could lose as much as $50 million in CDC funds by sticking to the codes-based system.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Outtraveler Staff