South Dakota Senate Committee Approves Bill Allowing Health Department To Release Confidential HIV Records
The South Dakota Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday voted 5-2 to approve a bill (HB 1019) that would allow the state Department of Health to release otherwise confidential HIV records to prosecutors if ordered to do so by a judge, the Associated Press reports. The bill would also allow health officials to contact the attorney general if they believed an HIV-positive individual was intentionally exposing others to the virus without informing them (Associated Press, 2/28). Under current state law, doctors must report all cases of contagious diseases to the health department, but it is not permitted to make public the identities of those people (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/26). Sen. Gene Abdallah (R) said that the bill is necessary and is being supported by several health and legal organizations, according to the Associated Press. "It's got to be here for the protection of the public and for the people of the state," Abdallah said. However, Sen. Gil Koetzle (D) said that he believed that part of the bill "circumvents judicial processes," the Associated Press reports. The bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration (Associated Press, 2/28).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.