HIV :: Massachusetts To Record HIV Patients’ Names

AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, Inc. today announced its opposition to the Public Health Council’s adoption of a regulation requiring providers to report cases of HIV infection by name to the Department of Public Health, instead of the code that has been in use since 1999.

In response to a threat by the federal Office of Health and Human Services to cut funds used to provide services to people living with HIV/AIDS, Paul Cote, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, decided last spring to abandon Massachusetts’ name-based code reporting system.

The Department of Public Health has collected the names of those diagnosed with AIDS and other illnesses for years and there have been no reported breaches of the confidentiality of those persons. But the onset of the digital era has created new hazards to the privacy of people with reportable illnesses.

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