More Than Half of AIDS-Related Deaths in Washington, D.C., Not Reported, Analysis Finds
June 16, 2008
More than half of the AIDS-related deaths that occurred in Washington, D.C., from 2000 to 2005 were missed by the city's system for reporting such deaths, according to an analysis by the district's Department of Health and CDC that was published recently in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the Washington Post reports. The underreporting of AIDS-related deaths suggests that the epidemic "may be taking a far greater toll" on the district than health officials had originally thought, according to the Post.
In response to the findings, Hader said the district has initiated several efforts to improve its reporting system, including a mass mailing in January to about 4,000 physicians and laboratories to try to increase the number of reported diagnoses. Officials also have begun routinely reviewing death records and have launched a campaign to try to identify more people for treatment.
"What we need to do is get more people who don't know they have HIV diagnosed and into care and treatment," Hader said, adding, "Every time you go into a health care provider, they should be offering to test you for HIV. We want to drive down the number of people living with HIV and [who] don't know about it" (Stein, Washington Post, 6/14).
The analysis is available online.
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.