N.Y. Public Health Law Section 2780

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HIV confidentiality laws by state: What to know

Medical News Today, March 2, 2022

“This article discusses the different types of laws relating to HIV in the U.S. and outlines the many state-specific laws surrounding the virus.”
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As used in this article, the following terms shall have the following meanings:


“AIDS” means acquired immune deficiency syndrome, as may be defined from time to time by the centers for disease control of the United States public health service.


“HIV infection” means infection with the human immunodeficiency virus or any other related virus identified as a probable causative agent of AIDS.


“HIV related illness” means any illness that may result from or may be associated with HIV infection.


“HIV related test or HIV related testing” means any laboratory test, tests or series of tests approved for the diagnosis of HIV. 4-a. “Rapid HIV test or testing” means any laboratory screening test or tests approved for detecting antibodies to HIV, that produce results in sixty minutes or less, and encompasses a confirmatory HIV related test if the screening test is reactive.


“Capacity to consent” means an individual’s ability, determined without regard to the individual’s age, to understand and appreciate the nature and consequences of a proposed health care service, treatment, or procedure, or of a proposed disclosure of confidential HIV related information, as the case may be, and to make an informed decision concerning the service, treatment, procedure or disclosure.


“Protected individual” means a person who is the subject of an HIV related test or who has been diagnosed as having HIV infection, AIDS or HIV related illness.


“Confidential HIV related information” means any information, in the possession of a person who provides one or more health or social services or who obtains the information pursuant to a release of confidential HIV related information, concerning whether an individual has been the subject of an HIV related test, or has HIV infection, HIV related illness or AIDS, or information which identifies or reasonably could identify an individual as having one or more of such conditions, including information pertaining to such individual’s contacts.


“Health or social service” means any public or private care, treatment, clinical laboratory test, counseling or educational service for adults or children, and acute, chronic, custodial, residential, outpatient, home or other health care provided pursuant to this chapter or the social services law; public assistance or care as defined in article one of the social services law; employment-related services, housing services, foster care, shelter, protective services, day care, or preventive services provided pursuant to the social services law; services for the mentally disabled as defined in article one of the mental hygiene law; probation services, provided pursuant to articles twelve and twelve-A of the executive law; parole services, provided pursuant to article eight of the correction law; corrections and community supervision, provided pursuant to the correction law; detention and rehabilitative services provided pursuant to article nineteen-G of the executive law; and the activities of the health care worker HIV/HBV advisory panel pursuant to article 27-DD (State Advisory Panel On Hiv/hbv Infected Health Care Workers)article twenty-seven-DD of this chapter.


“Release of confidential HIV related information” means a written authorization for disclosure of confidential HIV related information which is signed by the protected individual, or if the protected individual lacks capacity to consent, a person authorized pursuant to law to consent to health care for the individual. Such release shall be dated and shall specify to whom disclosure is authorized, the purpose for such disclosure and the time period during which the release is to be effective. A general authorization for the release of medical or other information shall not be construed as a release of confidential HIV related information, unless such authorization specifically indicates its dual purpose as a general authorization and an authorization for the release of confidential HIV related information and complies with the requirements of this subdivision.


“Contact” means an identified spouse or sex partner of the protected individual, a person identified as having shared hypodermic needles or syringes with the protected individual or a person who the protected individual may have exposed to HIV under circumstances that present a risk of transmission of HIV, as determined by the commissioner.


“Person” includes any natural person, partnership, association, joint venture, trust, public or private corporation, or state or local government agency.


“Health facility” means a hospital as defined in § 2801 (Definitions)section two thousand eight hundred one of this chapter, blood bank, blood center, sperm bank, organ or tissue bank, clinical laboratory, or facility providing care or treatment to persons with a mental disability as defined in article one of the mental hygiene law.


“Health care provider” means any physician, nurse, provider of services for the mentally disabled as defined in article one of the mental hygiene law, or other person involved in providing medical, nursing, counseling, or other health care or mental health service, including those associated with, or under contract to, a health maintenance organization or medical services plan.


“Child” means any protected individual actually or apparently under eighteen years of age.


“Authorized agency” means any agency defined by Social Services Law § 371 (Definitions Unless the context or the subject matter manifestly requires a different interpretation, when used in this article or in any ...)section three hundred seventy-one of the social services law and, for the purposes of this article, shall include such corporations incorporated or organized under the laws of the state as may be specifically authorized by their certificates of incorporation to receive children for the purposes of adoption or foster care.


“Insurance institution” means any corporation, association, partnership, reciprocal exchange, interinsurer, fraternal benefits society, agent, broker or other entity including, but not limited to, any health maintenance organization, medical service plan, or hospital plan which:


is engaged in the business of insurance;


provides health services coverage plans; or


provides benefits under, administers, or provides services for, an employee welfare benefit plan as defined in 29 U.S.C. 1002(1).


“Insurance support organization” means any person who regularly engages, in whole or in part, in the practice of assembling or collecting information about natural persons for the primary purpose of providing the information to an insurance institution for insurance transactions, including:


the furnishing of consumer reports or investigative consumer reports to an insurance instititution for use in connection with an insurance transaction; or


the collection of personal information from insurance institutions or other insurance support organizations for the purpose of detecting or preventing fraud, material misrepresentation, or material non-disclosure in connection with insurance underwriting or insurance claim activity. The following persons shall not be considered “insurance-support organizations” for the purposes of this article: government institutions, insurance institutions, health facilities and health care providers.

Source: Section 2780 — Definitions, https://www.­nysenate.­gov/legislation/laws/PBH/2780 (updated Sep. 22, 2014; accessed Jul. 13, 2024).

Jul. 13, 2024

Last modified:
Sep. 22, 2014

§ 2780’s source at nysenate​.gov

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