To the Editor.
—We agree with Dr Bellin's support of national tuberculosis (TB) surveillance and the views that drug-resistant TB and the failure of patients to complete therapy are major concerns requiring immediate action.1 Information on all 44 notifiable conditions reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is provided for statistical purposes only and includes no personal identifiers. If patients and health care providers are to continue to cooperate with national disease surveillance, they need to be reassured of the confidentiality of the information collected. For two of the conditions reported to the CDC (human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome [HIV/AIDS] and TB) patients are also protected by an assurance of confidentiality under §308(d) of the Public Health Service Act, which prohibits disclosure of any information that could be used directly or indirectly to identify patients. Reasons for this safeguard for TB and HIV/ AIDS surveillance include
Bloch AB, Onorato IM, Castro KG. Tracking Tuberculosis. JAMA. 1994;272(3):200–201. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520030040016
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