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expected to adopt names-based HIV reporting

expected to adopt names-based HIV reporting

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

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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