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names-based HIV reporting bill heads to governor

names-based HIV reporting bill heads to governor

Schwarzenegger is expected to sign measure adopting names-based HIV reporting.

The California senate on Thursday unanimously approved a final version of a bill that would scrap the state's codes-based HIV reporting system in favor of a names-based system. The state house previously unanimously approved the measure, which now heads to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for his approval. Schwarzenegger has previously expressed support for the bill.

The alphanumeric code system currently used in California is inaccurate, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which plans soon to begin tying federal Ryan White AIDS grants to HIV case data from states that have names-based reporting systems. California would have lost up to $50 million in federal AIDS funds each year if it had continued to use its codes-based HIV reporting system.

"AIDS Healthcare Foundation applauds the California legislature for its overwhelming support of [the bill] and we urge the governor to swiftly sign this crucial legislation into law," Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation, one of the principal cosponsors of the bill, said in a statement. "We are heartened that the senate recognized the urgency of this bill as each day that goes by without this new reporting system in place translates into lost federal dollars for care and services for Californians living with HIV/AIDS." (The Advocate)

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