March #57 : Big Bro - by Shana Naomi Krochmal

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Table of Contents

Woman on the Verge

The River Runs Through It

The Jelly Revolution

Let's Dance

Publisher's Letter


Catching Up With...

Call The Cops

Say What?

Big Bro

Chew the Stat


Trade Route To Riot

Bookmark This

Nana’s Natural Remedy

Underground Railroad


The Body Politic

High Crimes

Low Blows

Trip The Light Magnificent

Relatively Speaking

A Tricky Combination

Beat The Blues

Down But Not Out

Comfort Zone

Tendergroin District

The Matrix

Beyond Eradication

Herb Of The Month


3.29.89: Fine Toon

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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March 2000

Big Bro

by Shana Naomi Krochmal

The CDC blindsided many in the AIDS community with its December release of new recommendations requiring all states to report the names of people who test HIV positive—or risk losing federal funds. After 18 years, the agency says it needs hard numbers, not estimates, to track infections.

In fact, 35 states already use names-based reporting.  Four others employ unique identifiers, a coding system widely backed by names critics because it counts each case of HIV while safeguarding anonymity. And even the CDC allows that if its regs are adopted nationwide, its surveillance data will remain sketchy—limited to the two-thirds of all HIVers who are diagnosed in a doctor’s office or other confidential testing sites. (The one-third diagnosed through anonymous testing centers or at home with kits will still go untracked.) To counter critics’ longstanding argument that fears of exposure and discrimination deter would-be testers, the CDC cited a 1999 study by the University of California that found no significant effect.

Activists also worry that the CDC’s regs will be legislated into this year’s reauthorization of the Ryan White CARE Act. With major AIDS organizations dependent on that money, getting them to give up funding rather than give out names may be the hardest sell of all.  

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