Insurance accidentally revealed HIV status of clients


Aetna, a US-based health care insurance company is legally charged for sending letters to 12000 clients who are all HIV+. The letters, which contained new instructions for filling prescriptions, were sent to customers taking medication for HIV treatment or preventing drugs. In a shocking lapse, information about the HIV status of the patients was visible. It was printed below the address and it was possible to see it through the window in envelope. HIV campaigners say the lapse has left many people “devastated” as their HIV status was revealed illegally without their permission. Attorneys said that individuals who contacted them reported that the Aetna letters were seen by family members, roommates and even neighbours who picked up the letters. Patients in Arizona, California, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C are pursuing action against the company. Sally Friedman, Legal Director of the Legal Action Center in New York City, and Ronda B. Goldfein, Executive Director of the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania, are coordinating the efforts of attorneys with eight organizations in pursuing the issue.


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