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April 21, 1999


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

In Reply: We considered and rejected using comparison states as suggested by Ms Aragón and Dr Myers because each state's HIV counseling and testing program has unique policies for site selection, funding, training of counselors, and recommendations to clients. Each state served as its own "control" before and after reporting was implemented. Selection of a comparable period for comparison states would also be difficult. The 6 states in our study were chosen because they had counseling and testing data available before and after implementation of HIV reporting policies. Of the 21 other states with HIV reporting policies for adults and adolescents at the end of 1997,1 20 had implemented these policies before or soon after the HIV counseling and testing data system was begun, and 1 (Florida) began HIV reporting very recently and not enough time has elapsed to have adequate data for analysis. The year-to-year median percentage changes in total number of HIV tests during 1992 through 1996 for areas with and without HIV reporting were similar in magnitude and trend.2