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July 21, 1989

Mandatory Reporting of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Testing Would Deter Blacks and Hispanics From Being Tested

Author Affiliations

New York City (NY) Department of Health

New York City (NY) Department of Health

JAMA. 1989;262(3):349. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430030037014

To the Editor.—  In a recent letter by Kegeles et al,1 the authors reported that people at risk (homosexuals) for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome would decline to take the antibody test if their identity was disclosed to public health officials. This reluctance to be tested because of fear of disclosure is not only true for men who have sex with men, but for other groups as well. A study of the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors pertaining to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome of a predominantly black and Hispanic population attending inner-city sexually transmitted disease clinics in New York City was conducted in 1988. One of the questions asked was the respondent's likelihood of taking the human immunodeficiency virus—antibody test if the respondent's test results and name had to be reported to a public health official. Among 1047 black and Hispanic respondents, 22% (Table) responded that they would not elect to take the