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Data & Statistics
How to Report a Diagnosis of HIV or AIDS

How to Report a Diagnosis of HIV or AIDS

Please call the Provider line: 212 442-3388 for information.

Return to the HIV Reporting Table of Contents

Confidentiality and HIPAA Regulations

How does the HIV Epidemiology Program protect patient confidentiality?

The highest priority of the HIV Epidemiology Program is to maintain the confidentiality of all persons reported with HIV/AIDS, including their names and other identifying information. We protect this information by adhering to the New York State Public Health Law, the New York City Health Code, HIPAA and other federal legislation and the HIV Epidemiology Program confidentiality protocols.

For more information about state and city confidentiality protocols click on HIV Reporting and Partner Notification Questions and Answers, "Protecting Confidentiality and Use of Data"

How do HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) regulations affect HIV/AIDS Reporting?

Under the HIPAA Privacy Rule, public health authorities have the right to collect or receive information "for the purpose of preventing or controlling disease" and in the "conduct of public health surveillance…" without further authorization. This exception to HIPAA regulations authorizes providers to report HIV/AIDS cases to the HIV Epidemiology Program without obtaining patient permission.

Other disclosures of protected information must be made on the "HIPAA- Compliant Authorization for Release of Medical Information and Confidential HIV-Related Information" and must be signed by the patient. State law prohibits any further disclosure of protected information without the specific written consent of the person to whom it pertains, or as otherwise permitted by law. Any unauthorized further disclosure in violation of state law may result in a fine or jail sentence or both.

To review relevant sections from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention publication, MMWR, "HIPAA Privacy Rule and Public Health": 52(S-1), 1-12, May 2, 2003 click here.

For further information about state regulations regarding release of HIV-related information click here.

Click here to obtain a copy of the new "HIPAA- Compliant Authorization ion for Release of Medical Information and Confidential HIV-Related Information.

Do I have to obtain permission from my patients before reporting a positive test?

Under the HIPAA Privacy Rule, public health authorities have the right to collect or receive information "for the purpose of preventing or controlling disease" and in the "conduct of public health surveillance…" without prior authorization. This exception to HIPAA regulations authorizes providers to report HIV/AIDS cases to the HIV Epidemiology Program without obtaining patient permission.

Any other disclosure of HIV-related information must be made on the "HIPAA- Compliant Authorization for Release of Medical Information and Confidential HIV-Related Information." State law prohibits any further disclosure of this information without the specific written consent of the person to whom it pertains, or as otherwise permitted by law. Any unauthorized further disclosure in violation of state law may result in a fine or jail sentence or both.

To review relevant sections from the Centers for Disease Control, MMWR, "HIPAA Privacy Rule and Public Health": 52(S-1), 1-12, May 2, 2003 click here.

For further information about state regulations regarding release of HIV-related information, click here.

To obtain a copy of the new "HIPAA-Compliant Authorization for Release of Medical Information and Confidential HIV-Related Information" click here.