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Georgia: 379 File Lawsuit Over Shared HIV Test Results

March 3, 2014

This article was reported by 11Alive.

11Alive reported that an Atlanta health center is being sued for sharing the HIV status of individuals in the community. The lawsuit represents 379 men and women whose positive HIV test results mistakenly were included in an e-mail sent by the head of Pride Medical Center to a magazine editor.

It is illegal to disclose that anyone has even had an HIV test in Georgia, as well as their HIV status. Todd Poole, the representing attorney, called the leak "an inexcusable breach of trust" and said his clients fear the information will become public and ruin their lives and careers. Many of the men and women have not disclosed their HIV status to other people, including members of their immediate family.

The former CEO of Pride Medical is the person accused of sending the e-mail. The medical center has not commented on the litigation and has 30 days to respond to the lawsuit. Poole said that although Pride Medical's patient care reputation is high, their privacy record is not. "There were a lot of mistakes. It was a mistake to hit send, it was a mistake to keep information in an unencrypted spread sheet, it was a mistake to send it via AOL," he said.

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