Illinois AIDS Clinics Deal with New Privacy Rules

Illinois AIDS Clinics Deal with New Privacy Rules

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“AIDS clinics in Illinois have been dealing with a major change in how they report HIV tests. For years, people who got HIV tests didn’t have to provide their names. Clinicians tracked results with random codes instead.

But now, federal health agencies require HIV testers’ names. Without them, the federal government holds back AIDS funds.

That worries David Munar of the Aids Foundation of Chicago, who says clinics are scrambling to update records.

""It’s obviously not the highest priority for medical offices, which is really their patients. It’s an administrative burden on them. There are often delays at the provider site in completing those reports and turning them in,"" he says.

About 1,400 people were in the state’s HIV database before January first. A state health department spokesperson isn’t sure how many records have been updated but she does say there’s some good news to report. She says most clinics report few cases of people refusing tests because of privacy concerns.“