Delaware to Report HIV Cases Under ‘Name-to-Code’ System
Delaware in mid-July will begin reporting newly diagnosed HIV cases by name to the state Division of Public Health, with the names later being translated into codes, the Associated Press reports. Currently, AIDS cases are reported by name to the state, but there is no mechanism for reporting HIV cases, a system that is necessary for the state to continue to receive almost $4 million in annual federal AIDS funding. Under the "name-to-code system," the names of persons testing HIV-positive in health clinics, doctors' offices and hospitals will be sent to the state in a "double envelope," where they will be checked for duplication, and then assigned a numerical code for "further tracking." Within 90 days, the patient's name will be removed from their official file. During that time, state health officials will contact the patient's physician or the patient directly to discuss services, if the patient has granted permission for such action. Critics of the plan say that people will be less likely to get tested for HIV if they have to give their name. Under the names-based system, the option of anonymous testing will still be available through private clinics around the state (Associated Press, 6/26).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.