Hipaa and Hiv

HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus is a disease that weakens the immune system by destroying important cells that fight off disease and infection (AIDS.gov).   Once a person contracts HIV the virus begins to attack the immune system killing off many cells such as CD4 and T-cells.   Over a period of time, the virus destroys so many cells that the body cannot fight off infection and disease anymore.   When this happens there is a danger of the HIV becoming AIDS.  
AIDS or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome is the final stage of the HIV infection.   This is diagnosed in combination with opportunistic infection.   Acquiring HIV or AIDS can lead to a number of health problems.   However, the problems do not stop there.   Social issues can arise if the information about contracting these diseases becomes public knowledge.   There are federal guidelines in place to protect those suffering from HIV and AIDS.
HIPAA or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 was created to protect patients rights when it comes to privacy and how their health information is used and released. It is stated in the HIPAA regulations that “individually identifiable health information” is to be protected (US Dept. of Health and Human Services, 2011).   This means any health information containing a patients name, address, phone number or any other type of information that can cause them to be identified is protected under this act.   For example, if a patient has just been diagnosed with HIV, the identifiable information about that person cannot be released.   Only information directly related to treatment, and diagnoses can be released and only for the purpose of health reasons.   This information cannot be used to discriminate against another person because of a health issue.
HIV and AIDS health information is more sensitive than other types of health information.   The reason is simple.   The public tends to look differently as a whole on a person with HIV or AIDS....