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Op-Ed in NY Times on HIV testing

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Peter Staley:
In Sunday's New York Times, in the "City Section," they ran an op-ed I wrote called "Why It's Right to Test."  You can read it on by clicking here, or on by clicking here

I'd love to know what folks think.  Please post your comments in this thread.

Peter Staley

You are quite right Peter, and New York isn't the only place.
Where I live, the options for HIV testing are pretty much limited to the public health dept., or one, that's right I said ONE planned parenthood site in the city.
Otherwise, one must ask for testing via their family medicine doctor, or similar private health provider.
Good article.

I agree with all the good points about testing.  There's one big problem I have with any current testing policies.  The fact that my status, along with my name and other personal information, was reported to the county, state, and federal government is just wrong.  That's personal information.  In fact, the govt. had my results before my Dr. even had them.  Until HIV test results are confidential, the paperwork and informed consent are needed.  Otherwise, people assume that their test results are private.  I can see reporting my status anonymously for statistical purposes or for State funding if I were asking for financial assistance.  I'm not asking for govt. assistance.  If i do, in the future, that would be a different story.  I have private insurance and am bothered by this 'Surveillance Data'.  If we truly want to treat HIV like any other disease, we need to give the privacy that other health tests are provided.  



Peter Staley:
Iggy -- Almost all states, including NY, now have names reporting for HIV tests done in doctor's offices, hospitals, etc. (the state collects our names from docs, etc.).  However, these same states invariably allow anonymous testing sites to continue as well.  If your friends want to remain anonymous, they can usually find anonymous testing centers (like STD clinics) that won't ask for their name, and won't report anything to the state.  They can also use a home HIV testing kit.

Anonymous testing remains an option almost everywhere in the U.S.  All of us who argue for names reporting, or expanded testing, have always demanded the continuation of anonymous testing options.

Also, I strongly believe these fears are unwarranted.  There hasn't been a single case of HIV name disclosure by New York State, ever. 


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