January 16, 2004
States that use names-based reporting have an edge in acquiring federal money for HIV treatment, Dr. Rice Leach, Kentucky's public health commissioner, told lawmakers Thursday. The change to names-based reporting would make the state more competitive for the funds, said Leach.
"I'm the last person that I thought would ever be up here begging you to pass this bill," said Krista Wood, executive director of the Heartland Clinic in Paducah. "But when it comes to life and death and the care of our clients, it's just a necessary element." More than 100 HIV patients in Kentucky are on waiting lists for medication, she said. Wood is no longer worried about the names of HIV patients being divulged improperly. "It's like Fort Knox," she said. "It's in a locked vault."
One HIV-positive man, who did not give his name, endorsed the bill, saying he worried that money for his medication would run out if the state did not adopt names-based reporting.