Considerations for modernized criminal HIV laws and assessment of legal protections against release of identified HIV surveillance data for law enforcement

Carol L. Galletly*, Nanette Benbow, Amy Killelea, Zita Lazzarini, Ruth Edwards

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

In November 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention distributed guidance to funded agencies under its Integrated HIV Surveillance and Prevention Programs Initiative to support the implementation of the program's third strategy: HIV transmission cluster investigation and outbreak response efforts. Cluster detection seeks to identify persons infected with HIV (diagnosed and undiagnosed) who are linked to infections in single or related sexual and injection drug networks. Identifying expanding clusters allows public health personnel to intervene directly where active HIV transmissions occur. However, in the context of HIV infection where most US states have enacted criminal exposure laws, these efforts have sparked concerns about the protection of HIV surveillance data from court order or subpoena for law enforcement purposes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls for funded agencies to evaluate relevant confidentiality laws to ensure that these are sufficient to protect the confidentiality of HIV surveillance data from use by law enforcement. We present fouroften overlooked factors about the criminalization of HIV exposure and HIV surveillance data protections that should be considered in statutory assessments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1576-1579
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Volume109
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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