A log book lost or stolen in April from the main office of the District's Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services Administration remains missing, and AIDS testing at that office has been suspended as a result. But health officials say free, anonymous testing is still available.
The log book contained names of clients at the agency office at 1300 First St. NE and listed results of acquired immune deficiency syndrome antibody tests, according to city government sources.
The D.C. health commissioner, Dr. Reed V. Tuckson, said he suspended AIDS testing at the drug clinic because he feared that rumors about the missing document might cause clients to lose confidence in the center.
Tuckson said the missing records are confidential, and he would not comment on what information was contained in them. Nevertheless, he said last week, "Many people will die because the perception of the incident gave the impression that AIDS-related information was taken or put in the hands of a ruthless person."
Two drug agency employes were transferred to other jobs while an investigation of the missing book was conducted. The investigation and a decision about those employes is expected to be completed next week.
Since mid-April, intravenous drug abusers seeking help at city-run drug treatment centers have been being encouraged to be tested anonymously for exposure to the AIDS virus at two other city-funded facilities.
Free, anonymous testing is available to anyone in the city through the Whitman-Walker Clinic, 14th and S streets NW, and the Southwest Health Clinic, 850 Delaware Ave. SW.
Intravenous drug users who share needles are particularly susceptible to contracting the deadly AIDS virus. Drug agency counselors have been trained in the past few months on how to inform drug users about AIDS, Tuckson said. He added, "We have counselors who are going out on the street, into the shooting places, telling people that if they share needles, they're committing suicide."