Virginia HIV Surveillance activities are authorized under the Virginia Department of Health Regulations Section 32.1-39 and Section 32.1-40 of the Code of VA. Medical providers and laboratories are required by law to report all HIV and AIDS cases. In May of 2007, Virginia’s health reporting regulations were revised to require laboratories to report all HIV CD4 counts and viral load test results.The Virginia Department of Health relies on medical providers and laboratories to identify and report conditions of public health importance, including HIV infection, and encourages providers to consider the impact that patients’ health may have on the larger community. Providers and VDH partner to control the spread of disease in Virginia.
Basic Reporting Requirements
How does the HIV Surveillance Program protect patient confidentiality?
The HIV Surveillance Program maintains the confidentiality of all persons reported with HIV infection, including all identifying information. Staff protect this information by strictly adhering to the Virginia Health Regulations, Code of Virginia, and the HIV Surveillance Program confidentiality protocols. All surveillance staff are trained on the Division of Disease Prevention Security and Confidentiality (S&C) Guidelines before they are given access to Protected Health Information (PHI) and are required to attend annual trainings. The Division’s S&C guidelines are modeled to meet or exceed the CDC’s S&C Guidelines; a downloadable copy is available at: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/statistics/recommendations/accesscontrol/.
What are the Benefits of HIV Reporting?
HIV reporting provides data to better characterize populations in which HIV has been newly diagnosed and, thus, target statewide efforts for HIV prevention, care and education. Reporting HIV infection may also enable infected individuals to receive treatment earlier. Confidential local health department Partner Services activities inform exposed partners about the benefits of testing and the importance of reducing risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.. These activities help improve health outcomes and reduce transmission within communities.
To view the Virginia reporting regulations and to see a complete list of reportable diseases, VDH publishes “Regulations for Disease Reporting and Control.” http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/Regulations.htm
You can also contact the Virginia Disease Prevention Hotline 1(800)533-4148 for more information or contact the Surveillance team.