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April 21, 1999

HIV Testing After Implementation of Name-Based Reporting

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1999;281(15):1377-1380. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-281-15-jbk0421

To the Editor: The use of name-based HIV surveillance touches on issues of privacy, civil rights, and the behavior of individuals engaged in illegal or stigmatized activities, and holds serious implications for public health. Using a retrospective analysis, Dr Nakashima and colleagues1 compare the number of tests performed in publicly funded counseling and testing sites in 6 states during the 12 months before and after implementation of name-based HIV reporting and conclude that HIV name-based reporting has had little deterrent effect on testing. However, the report, based on an ecological association, raises far more questions than it answers, and the conclusion seems to contradict some of the data presented.

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