AIM Addresses HIV Privacy Regulations

Oct 13, 2010 4:30 PM PST
SHERMAN OAKS, Calif. — The AIM Healthcare Foundation issued a statement on its website, saying that its handling of the current HIV case is in full compliance with all county, state and federal law regarding both reporting and privacy protection.

It also states that the “misfortune of a patient testing positive for HIV has been turned into a tragic farce by the efforts of groups to exploit the patient for their political and financial gain.”

The statement, written by AIM attorneys Jeffrey Douglas and Karen Tynan, says that comments made by various state and county officials alleging delays and the foundation’s failure to cooperate are false.

“Under law, reporting to Los Angeles County HIV Epidemiology Program can only occur upon the return of a Western Blot test. That test was taken immediately upon the first indication of a potential infection, but the results take one week to return.

“Los Angeles County does not, and cannot under law, accept any other test results. Any suggestion of possible earlier reporting is a lie, and a deliberate attempt to mislead the public and policy makers. AIM cannot, under the California regulations, provide any information to other state entities or private individuals. AIM is properly following all regulations regarding reporting.”

It further states that the state attempted earlier this year to violate federal HIPAA and privacy laws by demanding personal patient information who tested positive for HIV in 2009. A judge rejected those efforts and issued a preliminary injunction.

“The inflammatory comments from private entities, primarily interested in self-promotion, are based upon ignorance and fear-mongering. At this time, it is impossible to know if the patient acquired the HIV virus from private conduct or on-camera activity.

“The industry is behaving responsibly and cautiously, as it always has, by placing a moratorium on filming any person one or two generations removed from sexual contact with the current patient.”

AIM says it has always encouraged safe sex practices and continues to provide free condoms to the industry. AIM’s mission, the statement says, is the health and welfare of the target population and the larger community.

To read the full statement, click here.

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