UNAIDS Releases New Guidelines To Ensure Confidentiality of People Living With HIV/AIDSUNAIDS on Friday released new guidelines that aim to ensure that the confidentiality of people living with HIV/AIDS is not compromised when collecting and storing information about the disease, UN News Service reports. The guidelines were developed through a workshop supported by UNAIDS and the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (UN News Service, 6/22).
The guidelines, called the "Interim Guidelines on Protecting the Confidentiality and Security of HIV Information," provide principles, definitions and technical recommendations to maintain confidentiality, privacy and security when working with HIV-related information (UNAIDS release, 6/21). According to the guidelines, using information for public health purposes must be balanced against individual rights to privacy and confidentiality, UN News Service reports. The recommendations also include a call for countries to establish confidentiality and privacy laws to maintain that balance (UN News Service, 6/22).
"Good clinical information is required for optimum treatment and care for people living with HIV," Eddy Beck, a UNAIDS senior technical officer, said. He added, "Ensuring this information is securely stored and confidentiality maintained will avoid potential stigmatization and discrimination of individuals and communities, and enhance the quality of the information collected." According to UNAIDS, the guidelines will be field tested and additional training materials will be developed (UNAIDS release, 6/21).
The guidelines are available online. Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat to view the guidelines. This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.