Intended for healthcare professionals


In brief

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 27 June 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1924

Compulsory HIV reporting begins in New York: A new law passed by the State Assembly requires doctors to report cases of HIV infection and AIDS to public health authorities. Doctors must also notify sexual and needle sharing contacts of the infected person of their possible exposure to the virus. Although many believed that HIV should be a notifiable disease from the outset, a strong political lobby had argued that discrimination would ensue.

UK's gay age of consent lowered: The age of consent for homosexuals in Britain was lowered from 18 to 16 years by a free vote in the House of Commons on Monday. An amendment to the Crime and Disorder Bill was passed by a majority of 207. The change will bring Britain into line with most of Europe.

EU tobacco advertising ban passed: The European Union's directive banning tobacco advertising and sponsorship was formally adopted at a council of ministers on Monday. It came at the end of Britain's EU presidency, after eight years of resistance by previous British governments. It will be another eight years before the ban is fully implemented (2 May, p 1334).

UK register for hepatitis C: The Public Health Laboratory Service is setting up a national register of hepatitis C virus infections to help determine the current and future burden of diseases related to hepatitis C on healthcare services. All doctors will be invited to register patients with hepatitis C and supply anonymised data to the register.

Complaint about advertising of Viagra in Hungary: Hungary's National Pharmacy Institute has filed a complaint with the Consumer Protection Agency against the tabloid daily Blikk for advertising the impotence drug sildenafil in Hungary. The drug has not been licensed in Hungary, and there is concern that a black market for the drug could develop.