Effect of HIV Reporting by Name on Use of HIV Testing in Publicly Funded Counseling and Testing Programs

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Abstract

Context

Policies requiring confidential reporting by name to state health departments of persons infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have potential to cause some of them to avoid HIV testing.

Objective

To describe trends in use of HIV testing services at publicly funded HIV counseling and testing sites before and after the implementation of HIV reporting policies.

Main Outcome Measure

Percent change in numbers of persons tested at publicly funded HIV counseling and testing sites after implementation of confidential HIV reporting by risk group.

Results

No significant declines in the total number of HIV tests provided at counseling and testing sites in the months immediately after implementation of HIV reporting occurred in any state, other than those expected from trends present before HIV reporting. Increases occurred in Nebraska (15.8%), Nevada (48.4%), New Jersey (21.3%), and Tennessee (62.8%). Predicted decreases occurred in Louisiana (10.5%) and Michigan (2.0%). In all areas, testing of at-risk heterosexuals increased in the year after HIV reporting was implemented (Louisiana, 10.5%; Michigan, 225.1%; Nebraska, 5.7%; Nevada, 303.3%; New Jersey, 462.9%; Tennessee, 603.8%). Declines in testing occurred among men who have sex with men in Louisiana (4.3%) and Tennessee (4.1%) after HIV reporting; testing increased for this group in Michigan (5.3%), Nebraska (19.6%), Nevada (12.5%), and New Jersey (22.4%). Among injection drug users, testing declined in Louisiana (15%), Michigan (34.3%), and New Jersey (0.6%) and increased in Nebraska (1.7%), Nevada (18.9%), and Tennessee (16.6%).

Conclusions

Confidential HIV reporting by name did not appear to affect use of HIV testing in publicly funded counseling and testing programs.

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