Texas HIV Confidentiality Statue
LIVE will be hosting a town hall forum to discuss the idea of repealing the Texas HIV Confidentiality Statute during the upcoming legislative session. In light of the advancements in HIV care, we believe such a law serves to perpetuate HIV-related stigma.
Although the Texas statute was well intentioned when originally passed, there are now laws in place to protect people with HIV from all forms of discrimination and through education and understanding; persons with HIV are no longer considered to be threats to society. Additionally, HIV most often does not lead to death, if properly treated. HIV is a manageable disease for most people in the USA.
It is important for the community to understand why LIVE is considering the repeal and also for us to hear what the community has to say about such a repeal. We welcome the community’s input on this important matter!
Where and When
The town hall forum is to be held on: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 6:30PM-8:00PM Montrose Counseling Center, Event Room 107 401 Branard Street Houston, Texas 77006
For more information, please feel free to call our office at (713) 861-5483 or send us an email at email@example.com
Information from LIVE CONSORTIUM:
LIVE CONSORTIUM is a Texas 501 (C) (3) non-profit organization whose purpose is to work towards the elimination of all HIV-related stigma. In that regard, the Texas HIV Confidentiality Statute makes it a crime and civil law violation for anyone to disclose another person’s HIV test result without that person’s consent. Such law is believed to be based on a time when being HIV positive was considered such a horrible disease that it warranted such secrecy due to the extreme discrimination and physical violence being directed at people who were HIV positive.
Although the statute was well intentioned when originally passed, there are now laws in place to protect people with HIV from all forms of discrimination and through education and understanding; persons with HIV are no longer considered to be threats to society. Additionally, HIV most often does not lead to death, if properly treated. HIV is a manageable disease for most people in the USA.
As such, the LIVE board is considering seeking the repeal of the Texas HIV Confidentiality statute in the Texas Legislature. HIV is the ONLY disease with a specific law which makes disclosure to any third party a civil law violation (punishable by a $10,000 civil penalty) and is a criminal law violation. This sends the message to the public that being HIV positive must be SO BAD that there needs to be a law to protect such a person from telling anyone else about it – hence, we think it actually fosters stigma instead of helping to minimize it.
HIV test results and all HIV medical information should be treated like any other medical information and should be (and is) protected by federal and state medical privacy laws. There is no legitimate reason (any longer) for making it seem like having HIV is any worse than any other medical condition, such as having cancer, diabetes, or any other medical condition. This law simply sends the wrong message about having HIV, and it may be time to repeal it.
Prior to proceeding with a repeal effort, LIVE will be sponsoring a town hall meeting to receive feedback from the Houston community regarding the proposed repeal of the HIV Confidentiality statute. It is important for the community to understand WHY we are considering the repeal and also for us to hear what the community has to say about the repeal before we proceed with repeal efforts.
There is still a lot of fear about being HIV positive and a lot of that is due to the stigma which we are trying to change. Obviously, with the Texas legislature about to start, we need to move quickly. Please join us for this important discussion.Number of View :446