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"Human Services: A Proposal to Track New HIV Cases by Name Instead of Code Could Be the Most Vexing Part of a Health System Overhaul"
  Los Angeles Times (07.31.04)::Carla Rivera
As proposals to reorganize California's health and welfare system are debated, the plan to track new HIV cases by name rather than by anonymous code seems likely to provoke emotional debate.
Under a 2002 requirement, doctors and labs must report new HIV cases to the state using an alphanumeric code rather than a name. The panel pursuing government streamlining found the code-based system to be "labor-intensive, less accurate and more complex than the name-based system" and said it puts $50 million in federal funding at risk. California is the only state among the five largest that requires codes for HIV reporting and names for AIDS reporting. Thirty-six other states use name-based HIV reporting.
CDC considers code-based reporting to be unreliable. The panel's report said the State Office of AIDS lacks the money to evaluate the current system and show it meets CDC's national standards.
On Friday, some medical professionals and AIDS activists endorsed the change, while others criticized it. "The unique identifier is complicated to report, and it's hard to determine whether a person is counted twice," said Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which operates 12 HIV clinics in California. But "there are people at risk who would not [test] with a names-based system," said Fred Dillon, director of policy and communications for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. "Even with name reporting, many jurisdictions say they don't have the time to report, so to say this would fix the system completely is false," Dillon said.
CDC HIV/STD/TB Prevention News Update
Monday, August 02, 2004
The CDC National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention provides the following information as a public service only. Providing synopses of key scientific articles and lay media reports on HIV/AIDS, other sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis does not constitute CDC endorsement. The following summaries were prepared without conducting any additional research or investigation into the facts and statements made in the articles being summarized, and therefore readers are expressly cautioned against relying on the validity or invalidity of any statements made in these summaries. This daily update also includes information from CDC and other government agencies, such as background on Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) articles, fact sheets and announcements. Reproduction of this text is encouraged; however, copies may not be sold, and the CDC HIV/STD/TB Prevention News Update should be cited as the source of the information. Contact the sources of the articles abstracted below for full texts of the articles.
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