California now tracks HIV cases by name

April 18, 2006 at 12:35 PM
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SACRAMENTO, April 18 (UPI) -- California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has enacted a new state law that will allow tracking the spread of HIV by using patients' real names instead of codes.

The bill unanimously cleared the state Senate and Assembly and was signed into law Monday, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

Only a handful of states still use alphanumeric codes created from birth dates, gender and elements of the patient's last name, the report said.

Under new provisions in the federal Ryan White CARE Act, which provides funding to states and metropolitan areas for HIV/AIDS care, states using patient codes will no longer be eligible for funds, which will be allocated later this year.

Los Angeles County alone, which records approximately 1,500 to 2,000 new HIV diagnoses each year, is set to receive $34.9 million this year.

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