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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: Dr Nakashima and colleagues1 conclude that mandatory name-based reporting did not appear to affect human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing use in publicly funded testing programs. There are several problems with this conclusion.

First, the study did not include a comparison group adequate to allow a national-level conclusion. While the authors did compare rates before and after testing, they did not include any analysis of states in which name-based reporting was not instituted. Thus, it is impossible for the authors to prove that testing rates might not have increased more dramatically in the states studied had name-based reporting not been instituted.