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Implecations of Hiv and Aids from the Perspective of Hipaa Confidentiality

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The most serious diseases in history are HIV and AIDS. Approximately 20 years ago doctors found the first case of AIDS in the United States. Today, people living with HIV and AIDS have been estimated to be around 42 million people (Teens Health, 2009).

There has been a report of people living with HIV or AIDS to be around 300,000 who are not even aware that they have this disease. There are approximately 40,000 new HIV infections each year and continues to remain the same (The Body, 2001).

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Information about HIV and AIDS is confidential and will remain that way as long as there is HIPAA to enforce the privacy of patient’s medical information (The Law office of Kendra S. Kleber & Associates PLLC, n.

d. ). Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is what causes AIDS. HIV destroys CD4 helper lymphocyte in the body which is a defense cell.

The body’s immune system which helps fight off infections contains the CD4 lymphocytes. As HIV destroys the CD4 lymphocytes in the body, people start to get infections that they normally would not get.

Once the HIV has destroyed the immune system the patient has acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). People with AIDS cannot fight off infections.

There are several ways that HIV can be transmitted, such as; body fluids, breast milk, shared needles, from an infected person through semen, blood, and from infected mother to her baby during childbirth (Teens Health, 2009). To understand the implications of both forms of HIV and AIDS from the perspective of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) confidentiality, we must understand what HIPAA is.Congress enacted (HIPAA), in 1996, in an effort to keep patients health information from being used inappropriately. HIPAA has been put into effect to protect patient’s privacy when it comes to their medical records.

HIPAA places a restriction on how a patient’s medical records are handled, and who can have access to the information. There are four parts to HIPAA: transaction (the process of reporting health related information), privacy and security (involve protected health information), and portability (which refers to protecting individual’s ability to get health insurance whether they have a current or preexisting condition).There are rules and regulations that HIPAA has put into action to ensure that the rights and confidentiality is protected with every individual. People living with HIV are protected by several laws that are provided by HIPAA.

The use of preexisting conditions has been limited because of the laws and regulations of HIPA. HIPAA also does not allow health plans to discriminate anyone by denying coverage for a family member’s poor health. HIPAA also guarantees certain individuals and certain small employers who have lost job-related coverage the right to purchase individual health insurance.Regardless of any health conditions someone has, as long as that person has purchased health insurance, can renew the insurance policy under the HIPAA laws and regulations (Biel-Cunningham, 2003).

Information about HIV and AIDS is confidential. Confidential and private are two different things when referring to the HIPAA laws and regulations. Private information is information that a person does not want anyone else to know about. Private information may not always be protected and may change with the situation.

Information that is confidential is damaging and so sensitive that there are special laws to protect confidential information. Whether someone is HIV-positive, HIV-negative, or HIV-untested there information is protected under the HIV confidentiality law. HIPAA protects a patient’s information wherever they go, which means if an employee of a hospital learns any medical information at work and discloses that information to a friend, then the employer is responsible.This sensitive information is important in cases related to HIV or AIDS.

Some people want to treat a person’s HIV information as another piece of information, but all information related to HIV and AIDS is very different, and should be kept confidential. All HIV information is medical information and should always be kept confidential no matter who it relates to (The law office of Kleber & Associates PLLC, n. d). HIV and AIDS information is very sensitive because of the stigma associated with having this disease.

When someone hears that someone has HIV or AIDS that person wants to assume that he or she got the disease from a partner or from sharing needles, when in reality this person received the disease from his or her mother during child birth. This is the type of stigma that is associated with having HIV or AIDS. Most people worry that they would suffer from discrimination if his or her HIV-positive status becomes known. The attitudes that are concerning people with HIV or AIDS centers around the myths that only gay man and drug users can contract HIV virus.

The truth is anyone can be at risk for HIV or AIDS if people engage in higher-risk behaviors. HIPAA has made the confidentiality of HIV and AIDS very strict. This was done to protect people who suffer with the disease from suffering from discrimination. There are also social, legal, and ethical ramifications of improper disclosure of HIV and AIDS.

There are several social ramifications when dealing with AIDS and HIV if the information is improperly released. When people discover that someone they might know has HIV or AIDS he or she may no longer want to be around that person from fear of getting the disease themselves.If other people find out about a person’s HIV or AIDS status they may discuss it with other people and that is how information is spread damaging the infected person’s life. People will also look at the person with HIV or AIDS differently and treat them differently.

If medical records are released, people with HIV or AIDS may not be able to find a job due to employers finding out about their status. Having a person’s medical information released discriminates against that person and damages his or her reputation in the social environment.There are also legal ramifications of improper information disclosures. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) does not allow employers to discriminate just because someone has a disability, which also includes HIV and AIDS.

ADA applies to employment decisions at all stages. There are four key points that employer must always remember: the importance of knowing what the job entails, what disability means, the concept of reasonable accommodation, and keeping confidentiality of medical information and limiting medical release within the boundaries of the law.An employee who is disabled is qualified for a job if he or she can perform the functions of the job in question. HIV-positive people are returning to work as more effective drug therapies are extending and improving the quality of HIV infected persons.

There are lawsuits that are being filed against employers for discrimination and improper information disclosures all the time. Under the ADA lawsuits are still being filled by HIV-positive workers. Through proper education and training most lawsuits can be avoided.While HIV and AIDS are hurting individuals and their loved ones, it is also harming economies and societies throughout the world.

HIV has long-term economic implications related to lost productivity ever since HIV has started spreading mostly among youths and young adults. According to the International Labor Organization in 2020 HIV and AIDS will reduce the workforce by 24 million people. The cost of work-force will increase due to higher payments for insurance and medical care, health-related work absences, hiring, and retraining costs.National growth and incomes will decrease significantly as the number of people with HIV and AIDS increases (The body, 2001).

The bad reputation that is related to HIV and AIDS makes it more important to keep a person’s status confidential. The harm that can come from mishandling a person’s medical information can cause personal pain and hardship for the person with HIV or AIDS. Anyone who learns the HIV status of a patient, client, or customer should keep it confidential.If the client, patient, or customer’s HIV status is relevant to the work he or she is doing then there status should be kept private and protected at all cost.

If the HIV status of a friend, client, or customer is not relevant to what the person is doing then do not ask. People living with HIV or AIDS are allowed to control what happens to his or her own medical condition, which is the goal of the confidentiality laws. Under the confidentiality laws there is no reason to discuss someone else’s HIV status without his or her permission (The law offices of Kleber & Associates PLLC, n. .

). There have been many rules and regulations that carry criminal and civil penalties that HIPAA has enforced to ensure the confidentiality and rights of individuals are protected. Anyone who is involved in the care of an HIV infected person knows that he or she must protect the confidentiality of those individuals receiving services. Individuals are protected under the general guidelines regarding the release of any health information including his or her HIV and AIDS status; even though HIPAA does not separately address HIV and AIDS patient information.

Keeping a person HIV status confidential is very important. HIV and AIDS should be kept confidential because the misuse of this information can potentially be harmful to the well-being and health of patients. Release of a patient’s medical information can lead to discrimination in insurance, employment, and healthcare. Everyone involved in the care of someone with HIV or AIDS must keep his or her status confidential or there can be legal, social and ethical ramifications to deal with (The Body, 2001).

ReferencesBiel-Cunningham, S. (2003). Understanding Your Rights Of Insurance Portability. Retrieved July 28, 2009, from http://www.

thebody. com/content/art32201. html Law offices of Kendra S. Kleber and Associates PLLC.

(n. d. ). HIV Confidentiality.

Retrieved July 28, 2009, from http://www. positiveoutlook. org/PAGES/101. htm Teens Health (2009).

HIV and AIDS. Retrieved July 28, 2009, from http://kidshealth. org/teen/sexual_health/stds/std_hiv. html The Body (2001).

Why We Should Care: HIV in the United States. Retrieved July 28, 2009, from http://www. thebody. com/content/art33064.


Cite this Implecations of Hiv and Aids from the Perspective of Hipaa Confidentiality

Implecations of Hiv and Aids from the Perspective of Hipaa Confidentiality. (2017, Apr 29). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/implecations-of-hiv-and-aids-from-the-perspective-of-hipaa-confidentiality/

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