ACT UP/Connecticut Stages Protest Against Proposed Names-Based HIV Reporting System
A "handful" of AIDS activists associated with the group ACT UP/Connecticut on Tuesday staged a protest against a proposed names-based HIV reporting system outside the Connecticut Department of Public Health headquarters, the Hartford Courant reports. Current state law only requires that cases of AIDS be reported to health officials, but the state is seeking to make HIV a reportable disease so that health officials can better target prevention and treatment. According to the Courant, "[v]irtually everyone" agrees on the need for better reporting of HIV data, but they cannot agree on the best way to record such information. A names-based system, similar to the systems implemented in 33 other states, is one option, while officials are also considering a "unique identifier" system that would code the personal information of anyone who tests positive for HIV. Six states and Puerto Rico use coded systems, while Washington state and Maine use a "hybrid" of the two methods. The CDC, which will begin linking federal funds to HIV figures within the next five to seven years, favors a names-based system because the agency says it "yields the most reliable data." But the rally and a survey of those in the HIV/AIDS community demonstrate "strong opposition" to a names-based registry in Connecticut (Condon, Hartford Courant, 5/9).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.