National HIV Reporting Approaches, But Privacy Remains Paramount

TIME TO RETHINK: The old discussions about reporting HIV infection must be reviewed in light of a changing epidemic, says CDC's John Ward. As the AIDS epidemic enters a new phase of changing demographics and combination drug therapy, support is mounting for a national system of HIV case reporting. Even some civil rights activists who previously opposed HIV reporting now are admitting the need for it to help contain the elusive disease. However, the long-debated question of whether HIV-positive

Steve Bunk
Nov 9, 1997


TIME TO RETHINK: The old discussions about reporting HIV infection must be reviewed in light of a changing epidemic, says CDC's John Ward.
As the AIDS epidemic enters a new phase of changing demographics and combination drug therapy, support is mounting for a national system of HIV case reporting. Even some civil rights activists who previously opposed HIV reporting now are admitting the need for it to help contain the elusive disease. However, the long-debated question of whether HIV-positive people should be identified by name remains to be resolved, and the issue may yet pose ethical concerns for some researchers.

"We're at a turning point of this epidemic," notes John Ward, chief of HIV/AIDS surveillance in the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "After 16 years, for the first time we're beginning to change, in a profound way, how we monitor it. Because of that, all the old...

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