Illinois Moves to Tracking all HIV/AIDs Patients By Name

The names of people infected with HIV will be tracked in all 50 states by the end of 2007, marking a victory for federal health officials and a quiet defeat for AIDS advocates who wanted to keep patients’ names out of state databases.

“I have patients who are very high-profile individuals — physicians in practice, people who are politicians” who don’t want their real names reported, said Dr. Dan Berger, medical director of NorthStar Healthcare in Chicago’s Lincoln Park. In a 2005 security breach in Palm Beach County, Fla., the names of 6,500 HIV and AIDS patients were mistakenly e-mailed to 800 county health workers. Other security breaches have occurred in California and Kentucky.

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