May #35 : Number's Up - by Becky Minnich

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Table of Contents

Just His Imagination

Down On the Pharm

From Unsafe to Ill

Power Plants

Take a Letter, Shalala

Sherri on Top

Jibe Talk

AIDS and the Single Girl

Lazarus: Love Among the Ruins

Survey: A Council Resigned

Plant Primer


Garden Variety

Spit Tune

Life: Good Pill Hunting

Last Laugh: Impossible Dream

What's The Point?

Read This: Heroic Measures

Number's Up

Mother's Little Helpers

A Yale Tale

The Big Sleep


Say What

More Life: Even Tough Guys Get HIV

Tribute: My Brother, My Self

HIV Naysayers Find Their Achilles' HEAL

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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May 1998

Number's Up

by Becky Minnich

CDC gives thumbs down for unique identifier

Numbers? Names? Neither? The battle over HIV case reporting continued in January when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published an article criticizing the use of unique identifier (UI) codes for tracking HIV cases by Texas and Maryland, the only two states with such a system. The codes, which include birthdates and partial Social Security numbers, are meant to dispel would-be test-takers' fear that their names will be sent to a state agency. Most AIDS organizations favor UIs over names, and some reject any form of listmaking as a recipe for driving those at risk underground. But the CDC is pushing for names, claiming that UIs "complicate efforts to collect risk-behavior information" and "contribute to a high rate of incomplete case reporting." Officials in charge of Maryland's three-year-old UI system admit flaws but remain fans. "We're seeing improvement in completion of codes," said Liza Solomon, director of AIDS administration for Maryland's Department of Health, adding: "If you really want a system to work, it needs to be supported. The CDC refuses to fund UI systems."

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