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FOIL-AO-17742

From:   Freeman, Robert (DOS)
Sent:    Monday, August 03, 2009 4:27 PM
To:      

Dear:

I have received your inquiry concerning the disclosure of information “about whether a certain person is infected with HIV or AIDS…” 

In this regard, section 2780(7)  of the Public Health Law defines “Confidential HIV related information”  to mean “any information in the possession of a person who provides one or more health or social services or who obtains the information pursuant to a release of confidential HIV related information, concerning whether an individual has been the subject of an HIV related test, or has HIV infection, HIV related illness or AIDS, or information which identifies or reasonably could identify an individual as having one or more of such conditions, including information pertaining to such individual’s contacts.”  Section 2782 states in relevant part that “No person who obtains confidential HIV related information in the course of providing any health or social service or pursuant to a release of confidential HIV related information may disclose or be compelled to disclose such information….”, except in circumstances specified in that law.  None of those circumstances would authorize disclosure in the situation that you described.

I hope that the foregoing serves to clarify your understanding and that I have been of assistance.

Robert J. Freeman
Executive Director
Committee on Open Government
Department of State
One Commerce Plaza
Suite 650
99 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12231
Phone: (518)474-2518
Fax: (518)474-1927
Website: www.dos.ny.gov/coog/index.html