In some-what related new, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Council voted to comply with Center for Disease Control protocol and require HIV positive patients to give their names when receiving treatment. The names will then be stored on a guarded data base accessible by ten people. Still, the mere existence of such a list worries some activists, who think numbered codes worked just fine. The government insists that the inventory will help keep monitor infection rates, but AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts policy director Denise Williams tells The Boston Herald: “It does not adequately address the serious issues of privacy and security”. Had it not agreed to the discretionary direction, the state would have lost it’s federal AIDS funding: an estimated at $33 million. Thus, it came down to helping well-identified, yet possibly targeted patients or letting the anonymous die.
It’s an unfortunate choice to have to make, but ultimately necessary and, really, seems pretty cut-and-dry to us.