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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”



New Bill Would Force Disclosure of HIV Status
Friday, 14 March 1997

WASHINGTON -- The Associated Press reports Republican Rep. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma is seeking support for a bill that would require states to alert people to possible contacts with HIV-infected partners.

Coburn, who is also a physician, said the bill's provisions will protect those who are not infected and speed the delivery of new treatments for those that are. The Associated Press says the American Medical Association supports the measure.

One of the bill's provisions is the creation of a national HIV reporting system. States would be required to report every new HIV diagnosis to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. 26 states already supply this information to the CDC, the rest report only new AIDS cases.

Among the proposal's more controversial features is a partner notification requirement (the CDC currently notifies partners in new AIDS diagnoses), and a new requirement imposed on insurers to reveal HIV test results to applicants.


The Human Rights Campaign protested the bill would intrude on the authority of trained health professionals and counselors, and do nothing to target individuals most at risk for HIV and AIDS. It also said partner notification is a costly and ineffective method of controlling the disease.

-- C. Barillas, Editor