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April 21, 2006
SGN.org
Volume 34
Issue 16
 
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Governor Schwarzenegger signs legislation requiring that HIV infections be reported to health officials by name
Governor Schwarzenegger signs legislation requiring that HIV infections be reported to health officials by name
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed SB 699, a new state law requiring that Californians who are HIV infected be reported to local and state public health authorities by name. This legislation brings the reporting of HIV infections in line with the reporting of AIDS diagnoses (which have been reportable by name since 1983) and with over 80 other diseases and conditions that are currently required to be reported by name in California, including Hepatitis, tuberculosis, syphilis and chlamydia. Currently, over 40 states require HIV reporting by name. Until today, California was one of the few that reported HIV infection using a code, also called a unique identifier.

On January 19, 2006, the Senate passed SB 699, authored by Senator Nell Soto (D-Pomona) on a vote of 33-0 and the Assembly passed it March 6, 2006, on a vote of 69-0. The Senate concurred with the Assembly amendments on April 6, 2006, on a vote of 32-0 and the bill was sent to the Governor. Because the bill includes an "urgency clause," name-based reporting of HIV cases in California has begun with the Governor's signature on the bill today. The State Office of AIDS will now begin work on the technical regulations required to fully implement the system, which must be approved within one year.

"We thank the Governor for helping us to protect vital funding to assure the highest response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in California," said Mark Cloutier, executive director of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. "Not only will this legislation protect the state from losing millions in CARE Act funding, it will provide us with valid, uniform data to strengthen our planning of HIV/AIDS services. SB 699 also encourages individuals to learn their HIV status by ensuring the continued availability of anonymous HIV testing and it contains strong provisions to protect the confidentiality of Californians who are HIV-positive," added Cloutier.

The San Francisco AIDS Foundation is a community-based organization that provides a comprehensive array of services - including financial benefits counseling, client advocacy, housing assistance, needle exchange, and the California AIDS Hotline (800-367-AIDS). The agency reaches thousands of others through community outreach, public policy efforts, prevention campaigns, and the Web.



A San Francisco AIDS Foundation press release

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