HIPPA Doesn’t Protect Your Positive STD Test Results

Government Reporting Allowed Without Notice

Government Reporting Allowed Without Notice

Your test results for sexually-transmitted diseases are protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPPA. HIPPA limits who can access your medical records or receive information about your medical conditions. This includes written, oral and electronic information about you and your health. You have the ability to restrict your private health information from being disclosed to anyone, and to allow your different health care providers to have access to that information only for the purpose of treating you.

However, each state has a law that requires health care providers to report your name, address, date of birth, gender and other information to the public health department when you have positive STD test results. So the HIPPA Privacy rule makes an exception. If you have positive STD test results, HIPPA doesn’t protect your confidential STD testing from being disclosed to the government. In fact, it doesn’t even require anyone to notify you that your information is being provided to public health employees.

Most states offer confidential STD and HIV testing. Don’t confuse confidentiality with anonymity, they are not the same. Every medical test is confidential. Your health care provider can’t even disclose the results of your cholesterol test to anyone without your permission. But it doesn’t need permission to report your name, address, date of birth, gender and other information to the health department when you test positive for an STD.

A few states offer anonymous HIV testing, where they only don’t report your name to the health department, but they do report your date of birth and gender when you test positive. report your age and your test results, but not your name, to the health department.

The only way to have a truly anonymous STD test or a truly anonymous HIV test is to follow the free anonymous testing guide that gives you step-by-step information on how to get tested anonymously and get treated anonymously for some conditions.

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