Amendments to the Public Health Act mean that HIV health records will be treated like any other records with HIV being managed as another chronic illness.
An amendment to s56 of the Public Health Act, in September 2017 means that restrictions around disclosing someone’s HIV status within healthcare settings have been lifted. HIV information is now available to health care workers involved in providing care, treatment or counselling, even if the care, treatment or counselling does not relate directly to the individual’s HIV.
This means if a person attends a NSW health service for an HIV test or for HIV-related treatment the test result and other HIV information will be available to NSW Health staff, as well as GPs and private health services involved in providing their care, whatever the condition. HIV health records will be treated like any other records with HIV being managed as another chronic illness. General privacy protections will continue to apply.
It is important that health workers make sure patients and clients have a clear understanding of any changes and about how their information will be managed.
For more information about privacy:
Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002
If you have questions about privacy please contact the privacy contact officer in each local health district.