South Dakota Senate Approves Bill Allowing Health Department To Release Confidential HIV Records
The South Dakota Senate yesterday approved 32-2 a bill (HB 1019) that would allow the state Department of Health to release otherwise confidential HIV records to prosecutors who are investigating people for intentionally exposing others to HIV if ordered to do so by a judge, the Associated Press reports (Associated Press, 3/4). 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. 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, 3/4). "This is really a public health issue, allowing the secretary of health to work with the attorney general and law enforcement in certain emergency circumstances when people are being put at grave peril through the risk of HIV," Sen. David Knudson (R) said. Under South Dakota law, exposing someone to HIV is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. The bill, which the House has already passed, now moves to the governor for consideration (Associated Press, 3/4).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.