New HIV Reporting System Crucial to California’s Allotment of Federal Dollars for Care, Editorial Says
The new system in California that requires official reporting of not only AIDS cases but also of HIV cases is a "vital" public health initiative that can affect how much federal money the state will receive to fight HIV/AIDS, according to a Fresno Bee editorial. Although the new system is "very similar" to the one that existed for reporting AIDS cases, HIV cases are now tracked through an anonymous code instead of patient names, which "assumes a low human motivation for self-preservation and a high contempt for public health efforts," according to the Bee. Local government officials must make an effort to ensure that "the community's physicians are completing the necessary paperwork," as one more task that requires the public health system "to do more with less to help solve the ongoing budget shortfall," the editorial states. Estimates put the number of HIV cases in California at about 80,000, but only 10,000 have been reported officially; because federal AIDS funding is "tied to the official caseload," the "number has to be right," the Bee concludes (Fresno Bee, 1/17).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.