Ethics on Health Care Worker disclosing patients HIV status

Question

Can a health care worker disclose the status of clients HIV status to a third person, to protect that person from harm?

Answer

Only one class of health care worker can disclose a person's HIV status to a third party to my knowledge, and that is the treating MD. The law varies by state, so make sure you know the law in your state. In most states, the only person to whom the health care provider can disclose is the spouse. I suggest you double-check this with the legal services branch of your local AIDS service organization. If their lawyer doesn't know, then ask your local bar association.

Nancy Breuer