Patient & Visitor InformationContact Us
  • Infection Diseases & Immunology Center
    The Miriam Hospital
    1125 North Main Street
    Providence, RI 02904
    Tele.: 401-793-2928
    Fax: 401-793-7401
  • Your Rights and Responsibilities

  • Are my HIV test results confidential?
    Under Rhode Island law the privacy of your HIV test results is protected. The law states that “providers of health care, public health officials, and any other person who maintains records containing information on AIDS test results of individuals shall be responsible for maintaining full confidentiality of these data... and shall take appropriate steps for their protection.”

    Steps to keep HIV test records private include:
    • Keeping paper records secure at all times and establishing adequate confidentiality safeguards for electronically stored records
    • Setting and enforcing reasonable rules limiting access to these records
    • Training people who handle records to keep them secure and private
    Rhode Island Department of Health regulations require that health care centers and testing sites report positive HIV test results to the Department with the patient’s name, but they are kept entirely confidential. All information in connection with HIV and AIDS cases is subject to strong confidentiality protection under Rhode Island law.
    Do I have to tell my employer? Landlord? School teacher?
    No. Take your time to decide who to tell and how you will approach them. Be sure you are ready and that you have support, whatever the person’s reaction is. There are laws that protect people with HIV from discrimination in employment, housing and education.

    You may want to tell your employer if your HIV illness or treatments interfere with your job performance. If you want to tell your employer but are worried about their reaction or your job security, talk to your provider or case manager first. If you do decide to tell your employer, make sure they understand that they must keep your HIV status confidential.
    If you apply for a new job, employers are not allowed to ask about your health or any disabilities. Legally, they can only ask if you have any condition that would interfere with the main job tasks.

    If you have legal questions related to your HIV, you can contact: GLAD Legal Information Infoline, 800-455-4523.

  • More Frequently Asked HIV Questions

    JSI logoThis material was developed by JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc., and funded by a Centers for Disease Control Prevention grant.