Partner Referral Recommendations

The CDC has evidence to suggest that most HIV infections are caused unknowingly, which is why partner referral services are essential. In brief, partner referral services is a confidential service you provide on behalf of people with HIV, so they can tell their partners (usually over phone) that they may have been exposed to HIV, either through sex or injecting drug use. The purpose of the message is to inform, recommend testing, and to seek counseling, not to give names (unless authorized to).

There are three suggested ways to get people with HIV to inform their partners: provider referral, client referral, or contract referral.

While your patient has the option not to inform their partners, you may, with some discretion, contact the exposed partner. There are some requirements you must adhere to if you wish to do this: the third party contact must be identified by the patient, you must recommend that the patient contact their partner, or to use the department of health to contact them, if the patient refuses, you must inform the patient you are doing so, it must be documented (you must not record partners name in the patient's records), and you must take full responsibility for adhering to the policy (providing information on how HIV is transmitted, and where the partner can get tested). If followed in good faith, you will not be held liable. Florida ultimately doesn't require medical professionals to report the status of an HIV patient, nor will it hold professionals liable for withholding that information for the purposes of patient privacy. This helps protect professionals from civil and criminal liabilities. Florida ultimately hopes for voluntary disclosure.

Patient Rights and Exceptions to the ADA of 1990

Patient Rights

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 protects HIV patients from unlawful discrimination, however, though protected by law, it is very easy for people with HIV to have their rights violated because of misunderstandings. The following piece will help explain the general rights of HIV patients. People with HIV are afforded the same rights as any other citizen in the United States. They may travel freely within the United States, can attend any school they wish, and must be allowed to apply for positions with reasonable accommodation.

People with HIV must not be denied care, housing, insurance, or regular services solely because of their condition. In addition, their HIV status must remain confidential if learned. To enforce this, the ADA sets guidelines that the states follow. These guidelines cover public assistance measures, determine damages for unlawful discrimination (fines may reach up to $10,000), and define general rights given by law.

People with HIV are under no obligation to reveal their status normally, whether it is to their employer, or another person; however, there are special circumstances in which HIV reporting can occur without penalty: