HIV in the Medical Record

Q. Several of our patients are HIV positive. Do we need to keep their HIV status in a special sealed part of the medical record? How should we handle the HIV information listed for each office visit?

A. You do not need to keep HIV information in a separate part of the medical record. However, special rules deal with the release of HIV information. Except for treatment purposes, Texas requires specific consent to release that information.

Unfortunately, no legal standard exists for how to list HIV information for each office visit.

NOTICE:  This information is provided as a commentary on legal issues and is not intended to provide advice on any specific legal matter. This information should NOT be considered legal advice and receipt of it does not create an attorney-client relationship. This is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. Texas Medical Association provides this information with the express understanding that 1) no attorney-client relationship exists, 2) neither TMA nor its attorneys are engaged in providing legal advice and 3) that the information is of a general character. Although TMA has attempted to present materials that are accurate and useful, some material may be outdated and TMA shall not be liable to anyone for any inaccuracy, error or omission, regardless of cause, or for any damages resulting therefrom. Any legal forms are only provided for the use of physicians in consultation with their attorneys. You should not rely on this information.  

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