Print this page    •   Back to Web version of article

News Briefs
Canada: New HIV Reporting Law May Make People Fearful of Testing -- Advocacy Group

April 30, 2003

A British Columbia advocacy group is concerned that a new HIV reporting law could make people apprehensive about getting tested. Beginning May 1, the law requires that public health officials be notified when a person tests positive for HIV, but it does not require a patient to divulge sexual partners or force a person to notify others of a positive test. Public health nurses will not know the name of the patient, just the name of his or her doctor. "Some may interpret it as mandatory, others may interpret it as voluntary," said Paul Legace, of the Red River HIV/AIDS Network. The law specifically requires a patient's consent because health authorities do not want to deter people from testing, said Tim Christie, an ethicist for the Center of Excellence in HIV/AIDS and co-author of a reportability study in British Columbia. "This is not an adversarial, us-and-them approach," said Christie. "Patients always have a choice." British Columbia is the last province in Canada to require HIV reporting.

Back to other CDC news for April 30, 2003

Previous Updates

Excerpted from:
Canadian Press
04.28.03; Robert Koopmans

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. You can find this article online by typing this address into your Web browser:

General Disclaimer: is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. The information provided through should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, consult your health care provider.