Starting January 1, 2007, HIV infection cases must be reported by name to the Massachusetts HIV/AIDS Surveillance Program at the MDPH. This is the same way that AIDS cases have been reported to MDPH since 1983. Although our previous name-based code system was performing well, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now require name reporting. Federal funding for Massachusetts will be based on reported cases of AIDS and HIV infection, but CDC will count only those cases that are reported to MDPH by name. No names are reported to the federal government.
All patients diagnosed with HIV infection who are receiving medical care at your facility should be reported by name starting January 1, 2007. If individuals currently in care have been previously reported using the code, the Department expects these individuals to be re-reported by name prior to December 31, 2007.
This reporting change also serves as a reminder to review your facility's current HIV testing and medical care consent forms to be certain they are accurate about reporting by name to MDPH. A new consent to care form may need to be signed if the previous consent to care stated that the patient's name would not be reported to DPH.
State regulations (105 CMR 300) identify AIDS and HIV as reportable diseases and mandate that physicians and other health care providers report HIV and AIDS cases which they diagnose. Because persons with HIV infection often receive treatment from several of these entities at the same time, the primary medical care provider and/or the facility where care is provided are considered the principal source of HIV case reports. Facilities with large HIV case loads should develop a coordinated reporting plan and designate an individual responsible for reporting. Patients who are not Massachusetts residents are not reportable. Likewise, providers and facilities located outside Massachusetts are not subject to the reporting regulation.
According to state regulation, at no time can the names of people with HIV or AIDS be shared with the federal government, any state or local department, or with any other program in the state health department. All public reports based on these data will remove names or other identifying information, and will group HIV statistics in order to protect individual privacy.
The Department's priority is for all individuals diagnosed with HIV and AIDS to access and maintain quality clinical care. Please make every effort to explain the new reporting system in a manner that preserves the continuity of patient care.
To Obtain Case Report Forms and Other Materials Contact
The Massachusetts HIV/AIDS Surveillance Program
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Additional information is available at www.mass.gov/dph/aids.