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Final For Hcr/220 Essay

1655 words - 7 pages

HIPAA Privacy Regulations Concerning a Patient with HIV/AIDS
HIV and AIDS is Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a viral infection that destroys CD4 helper lymphocytes and T cells, which are essential in aiding the body to fight off diseases. This viral infection attacks the immune system. If the infection is not detected and treated, the immune system gradually weakens where the immune system can no longer fight or defend itself from other infections. This then advances to the end stage, which is known as Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). HIV/AIDS has been around for the last 30 year and was first linked to homosexuals (Gay men) having anal sex. However, many acquired the ...view middle of the document...

Confidentiality of one’s medical information is definitely a concern for individuals who are HIV positive. I would think their greater concerns are due to the stigmatic nature of the disease as well as feelings of anger, shame, and quilt especially if contracted the infection through practicing one or more various types of unhealthy behaviors. These unhealthy behaviors are recognized as stigmata, which include IV drug users sharing needles, those who have multiple sex partners and engage in unprotected sexual intercourse whether it is oral, vaginal, or anal sex, homosexuality, as well as other forms of shame or disgrace, which is regarded by many as socially unacceptable. In the US, over 750,000 people are infected with HIV and it is estimated that perhaps as many as another 250,000 may be infected, but remain unaware of their infection (AMA, 2011). Improper disclosure laws vary from state to state and can be devastating to an individual due to the stigmata, which causes social, legal, and ethical ramifications for those who have tested positive with HIV. These ramifications can occur on a personal level as well as in a business level, which is why there are laws to protect individuals that may be discriminated against.
Social ramifications I would think would be rejection by family, friends, job loss and/or loved ones that no longer want to have anything to do with them. A Legal ramification for a patient with HIV would be failing to disclose their HIV status to their sexual partner and carrying on with unprotected sex anyway. This may make you vulnerable to criminal prosecution or being sued by your sexual partner. Criminal convictions for exposing another person to HIV through sex are rare. However, since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, more than 300 people have been criminally prosecuted for exposing another person to HIV. Only a fraction of these cases involve exposure through consensual sex. (The others involve activities such as biting, scratching and spitting, or violent sex crimes such as rape or forcible sodomy). Of the cases involving sex, most have been brought against female prostitutes (and not their male customers) or by military prosecutors against military personnel. Less than one-sixth of these cases have resulted in convictions, and more than half of the convictions have been against military personnel. While most of these prosecutions have proceeded under general criminal laws such as attempted murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, attempted manslaughter and manslaughter, a number of states have passed specific statutes that make it a crime for a person to expose another to HIV willfully. California's "Willful Exposure Law”, has made it a felony, punishable by up to eight years of imprisonment for an HIV-positive person to knowingly put another individual at risk for HIV through unprotected sex. The law is narrowly drafted, so again, it only applies to individuals who “intend” to infect others with HIV...

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