1. HIV Names Reporting
  2. Civil Asset Forfeiture
1. HIV Names Reporting: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday released draft guidelines for the surveillance of HIV cases that would violate our most basic privacy rights. In these guidelines, the CDC recommends that states institute case reporting of people who test positive for HIV by name rather than using a system of unique identifiers. The proposed CDC guidelines are bad for public health and threaten to destroy our most basic privacy rights. Study after study confirms that mandatory names reporting discourages people from getting tested for HIV. A recent article in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association makes clear that anonymous testing is the most effective means of insuring HIV positive people receive the life-saving treatment they need. Although the CDC recommends that states maintain the availability of anonymous testing, it well knows that the guidelines are likely to have the opposite effect. Nationally, ten states have eliminated anonymous testing after starting names reporting. The CDC is accepting public comment on these guidelines through January 11, 1999. Take action today! Send a FREE FAX to the CDC stating that HIV names reporting violates privacy and ignores scientific evidence from the ACLU web site at: http://www.aclu.org/congress/congress.html 2. Civil Asset Forfeiture: Imagine that the police had the right to seize your property -- your home, your car, your business, your cash -- and you hadn't even been arrested, charged or convicted of a crime. Believe it or not, under the law of civil asset forfeiture, such conduct by the police is perfectly legal. Currently asset forfeiture is used by federal law enforcement officials as a dream way to fill their coffers by seizing assets allegedly used in a crime. But asset forfeiture has become a nightmare for many Americans who have been accused of a crime but have not been proven guilty. In many cases, even when the accused citizens are found innocent, they face an expensive struggle with government bureaucrats to recover their property. Many times they are unsuccessful in ever recovering their property! In anticipation of action on this critical issue in the upcoming Congress, the ACLU has purchased an ad in the New York Times to raise public awareness and mobilize grassroots action. You can see a copy of the ad and send a FREE FAX to your members of Congress by visiting the ACLU web site at: http://www.aclu.org/features/nytimesad121198.html --- You are currently subscribed to action as: [buckeroo@psn.net] To unsubscribe, forward this message to leave-action-84926B@lists.aclu.org

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Created: December 19, 1998
Last Updated: May 28, 2000